03 June 2020 | Posted by Manasvi Asthana
Pandemics have ravaged humanity throughout human existence, often changing the course of history. These pandemics have traces to have been existed as early as 5,000 years ago signalling the end of a whole civilization. One such pandemic that we are all facing in the 21st century is “COVID-19” also known as coronavirus. Where many had caught the deadly virus and died, many have even recovered from it. To have a control over the epidemic, India is witnessing a complete lockdown since 25th of March, 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak in India. Methods that the law and enforcement officials are following during the lockdown are; restraining people from stepping outside their homes, home delivery services, work-from-home provision, online academic classes, closure of places of worship, prohibition of all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious activities.
Despite the nation facing a complete shutdown there are still few of them working to regulate and safeguard the safety of the citizens of India, Indian Police Administration. They are on duty for the smooth functioning of the nation, for the doctors to follow their procedural duties without any disruption and for the citizens to abide by the laws and rules set up by the Government of India to fight against the crisis.
Indian Police Force has been on their toes since the lockdown was initiated forgetting their families they have worked for hours, some have even served their nation without any protection fearlessly. Only if we try to dig in their minds we will find out the damage they have to go through along with their families during this crisis while most of us were kept away and protected from the vicious virus.
All this while many of them were criticizing the working of police personnel, we forgot what psychological impact has this pandemic left on their minds as well as their families. Where some of them have criticized them, many have even backed them up and shown support to them by encouraging them for their services. Focusing on the part where we have been hearing of deaths for every 24 hours it would be cruel to ignore what Indian Police Forces have done for the citizens of India by heroically standing in the front line fighting the virus, politics and hunger.
During this whole period we have witnessed that apart from the virus swallowing people’s life, mental illnesses have taken a heap too. Let’s talk about the mental trauma that Police Forces had to go through considering they too were unaware and unprepared for such a cosmic crisis.
Psychological trauma that they had to go through consists of :
1) Panic Attack: Considering the on-going situation where none of us were prepared, it was a huge shock dealing with the news flashing on various channels and forwarded messages on social media handles. Coming to the Police Forces, who not only had to look after their families as the news was discovered but their nation as well. Declaration of a complete lockdown created panic amongst not only the citizens but policemen also, they are equally humans. Thinking of the worst and not being able to be there for their family during such a time creates a panic.
2) ANXIETY DISORDER: Anxieties are caused from thinking of the future, the outcome, not only we as citizens have been anxious while sitting at home watching it all happen even Police Forces have felt the same specially staying outside and being the first in contact with the majority of positive cases. A feeling of worry and stress, unable to support their families mentally and emotionally have caused them much damage.
3) DEPRESSION: The damage that this crisis has caused has not stayed confide to losing life due to the virus, many have committed suicide contemplating of the future this includes Police personnel as well.
4) ABANDONMENT ISSUES: While the Police personnel are on duty during the pandemic strike their families can feel their absence also resulting in “unintentional” abandonment issues faced by their by their children and other family members. Many haven’t visited their homes in months to save their families from any potential risk of catching the virus. They have stayed in quarantine away from families to places where they have found difficult to stay with the minimum facilities being provided.
5) FEAR: The constant fear of getting affected by the virus while on duty when they could have choose to stay at home and help their families. this constant fear is mentally draining.
So far over forty police personnel have lost their lives while trying to keep us safe, over five thousand of them have tested positive while on duty. They have tried to normalize the situation for us by involving themselves into various fun activities. Deviating from mundane public announcements, Nagpur city police brought live entertainment and activities on the roads to raise awareness against COVID-19. One of the city’s main junction was turned into a venue with a live singing performance and paintings on the Novel Coronavirus made on the roads. Police in south Kerala performed ‘handwashing dance’ to remind public about good hygiene. Some officers sung and feed the poor as well in Assam. From traffic police dancing and donning coronavirus shaped helmets to painted horses, urging citizens to stay indoors spreading awareness among people. It would be wrong to ignore the fact that these policemen are humans too, who are working so that we are safe.
Strolling all around the city even when we are asleep in that same uniform, those same pair of shoes, masks and hand gloves, from creating rules and norms to getting it implemented, being there for every patient to escort them to the hospital. These heroes deserve more than just our attention. I am proud to be an Indian for I have my heroes watching on me as Indian Police.