The trauma of being a volunteer


When covid began taking a toll on Bengaluru, Zameer Baig promptly signed up to assist with burials etc.. ) However, the scenes He experiences daily have exacted a Massive price

A couple of months before, Zameer Baig, 29, was conducting his daddy’s company, producing corrugated boxes. He had a routine 10-to-6 job, and he’d go to the gym, hang out with his buddies and come back home to his wife and two kids aged 3 and 5. Like many kids, they’d run into his arms, chatter nineteen-to-the-dozen, update him about the numerous occasions in their own day and fall asleep next to him. He and his wife could have a quiet dinner and watch TV, before calling it a day. He had a lifetime that many Bengalureans would identify — dull but safe, content and happy.

From around a month, Baig’s lifestyle has changed so radically that he occasionally can’t recognise it is his own. Ever since he began volunteering to assist with covid burials as a Mercy Angels‘ volunteer, he’s haunted by the recurring sounds of a childhood’s sobs. The young boy’s face is evidenced by despair at seeing his sister, a pregnant girl, dead out of covid in her third trimester. The very small life in her, an eight-month-old foetus, didn’t survive . As Baig and yet another volunteer wheeled her entire body from this Vanivilas Hospital morgue, the young boy’s delicate body was wracked by sobs.

Baig can do nothing. Not hug the boy who didn’t possess a PPE. The boy cried, a deep guttural shout that rose from his belly and shook his framework. He clutched to a sheaf of documents to calm himself.

We can’t talk about the injury, which we undergo as volunteers, together with our families. I believe our fellow volunteers are going to have the ability to understand much better. Although There are helplines available, I did not feel like calling them for counseling

— Zameer Baig, Mercy Angels volunteer

It was on July 21 however if Baig sleeps the sobs continue to be real, loud and fresh. He wakes up mentally drained. He yells alone, isolating out of his loved ones, makes matters worse. Pictures of another covid departure, of a 70-year old guy, also have made indelible memory traces. He recalls the son of this guy, refusing to see his dad’s face one final time since he had been so consumed by dread. Baig went to Columbia Asia Hospital at Yeshwanthpura on July 17 to ferry the entire body into the Magadi Road crematorium. Baig says he is disheartened that a virus may wipe out the love between a father and son and replace it with dread.

“When somebody dies, the relatives don’t come forward to wrap the body. They stand at a distance and also expect us to deal with the dead. It is just heart breaking. Covid has changed everything.”


Baig has completed exactly what the loved ones of the deceased do not do accompanied the deceased in their final trip and awarded them a dignified burial /cremation.

Baig says that he consoles himselftries to hush the sobs in his mind and expects sleep will take over. He did not believe he’d be waging those midnight conflicts when he chose to volunteer once he read a telephone by the Mercy Angels –‘Calling out the young, the fit and the powerful. 1 day per week, couple of hours. Let us give the deceased a dignified burial or cremation. It might be one of us tomorrow’

If Baig includes houses, there are no hugs and no chatter of his children. He goes right to the tub and scrubs himself tidy, soaks his garments in soap and Dettol. After supper, he lies back on his bed and expect the demons do not came to irritate him.

The taunts he hears throughout the daytime are worse compared to the demons which come at nighttime. “I am frequently asked’are you the only one supposed to do such things, while some, including the family of the deceased, remain away from their nearest and dearest? ”’ Zameer has no replies for his loved ones but he proceeds with his job, trusting that his family’s aid will last.



“We can’t share that which we go through as volunteers together with our households. I believe our fellow volunteers are going to have the ability to understand much better. Even though there are helplines available, I did not feel like calling them for counseling,” says Baig.

Speaking of this injury and stress that the volunteers will encounter, Bangalore Medical College (BMC) Psychiatrist, Dr Chandrashekar stated,”They’ll experience all of the signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — despair, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, recurring ideas and pictures of what they heard and saw. But because these individuals are volunteers, they’re more resilient people that are obligated to get the job done. These volunteers will have the ability to confront stigma, and fear of transmitting the disease to other people, and discrimination, even better than many others since they’ve chosen to roam. They have to get a fantastic night’s rest, fantastic nutrition, physical activity and interaction with their own families while preserving space. They ought to examine this as a marathon rather than a rush; prepare mentally and emotionally to the long haul. They ought to keep an eye out for migraines, loss of appetite, feeling low, irritability, and exhaustion, loss of interest in matters that could excite them…”

When the feeling continues or gets worse, seeking skilled assistance is advised, says specialists.


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