I couldn’t find a hospital bed for my COVID-struck father in India. Days of frantic searching showed me how overwhelmed our health system is.

I couldn’t find a hospital bed for my COVID-struck father in India. Days of frantic searching showed me how overwhelmed our health system is.

New Delhi hospital beds
New Delhi – April 26: A healthcare worker in PPE attends to a patient in an isolation ward – a banquet hall temporarily converted for coronavirus patients.Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

My heart ran cold as the doctor sent us a message on WhatsApp about my father’s deteriorating condition. “He has an inflammation in his lungs – given his age and medical history – you should be prepared to hospitalize him.”

My father has Parkinson’s, a heart condition, weak lungs and high blood pressure. I kept thinking: “Where am I going to get a bed? Or oxygen?” 

On April 15, my 75-year-old parents, 15-year-old-son, and I tested positive for coronavirus. We were shocked. We were extremely cautious when it came to protecting ourselves from COVID-19, however it did not seem enough in the face of the the rising infection rate in India.

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