Cincinnati – Professor Rajan Kamato of the University of Cincinnati says that every time he hears a phone ring, he feels his spine aching.
“I don’t know if it’s a call from someone in India who knows they’ve been infected with this virus,” Kamath said. “Most of us know who has received the bad news.”
Earlier this week, India reported more COVID-19 deaths in a day than any other country to fight the second wave and new deadly variants. The B.1.617 variant, first discovered in India, is believed to spread more easily than other variants. On Friday, the country reported more than 270,000 new cases and more than 4,000 deaths.
Indian families in the Cincinnati region, thousands of miles away, are feeling the impact of the second wave of India affecting family and friends abroad.
“At the community level, (we) have a sense of alertness and fear,” Kamato said.
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An estimated 15,000 people born in India live in the Cincinnati region of 15 counties, according to the latest American Community Survey released by the Census Bureau.
Near the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, Mr Kamato said he thought India did a better job of monitoring the virus in the early stages compared to other countries.
“In the early stages, the Indian country seemed to be doing very well,” he said. “First of all, they were supplying vaccines worldwide because they have the largest production capacity for vaccine manufacturers. And second, infection and mortality rates are actually in India. It was surprisingly low for the size of the country, so it’s no exaggeration to say that community-level people are shocked to see the latest numbers. ”
Ratee Apana is the founder and secretary general of the Indian Film Festival in Cincinnati and the founder of Cincinnati Sister City Mysore in India. Through her connections in the Indian community here, she has seen extensive heartache.
“There is (no) a single family member, either my own or a friend’s, who is not currently aware of the existence of COVID,” Apana said. “Fortunately I got a COVID from a family member and survived. But there are many other families who weren’t so lucky.”
Apana has endeavored to support the people of India by supporting fundraising activities. On May 17, she helped moderate fundraising at Clubhouse, a social media voice chat app. A fundraising campaign called United 4 India aims to raise awareness of the proliferation of COVID-19 cases in India.
In addition to moderating clubhouse rooms, Apana says her organization is promoting the collection of 50 oxygen converters in its sister city, Mysore, India.
During moderation, Apana said fundraising activities reached $ 50,000 for donations. She believes that everyone can raise awareness and contribute to supporting India.
“I don’t believe in despair. I believe in action,” Apana said. “We believe we are here to do something, you know, each of us can do something that can play our role.”
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Padma Chebrolu, president and artistic director of Cultural Center Of India, a dance school in Simms Township, Ohio, has also seen the impact of the recent surge on local populations.
“This (variant) is very vicious. The mutated variation of this kind (COVID-19) is very vicious. It attacks people of all ages and all types. Healthy and not so healthy. No, everyone, it spares no one, “Chebrolu said.
The center virtually hosts performances for the community every month. During these performances, Chebrolu said he often pleaded with viewers to donate to national organizations to support India or simply check in their neighbors.
“Many members of the Great Cincinnati community have come together,” Chebrolu said. “We are reaching out to people to donate money for this particular purpose, but they can.”
Kamato said it should be remembered that pandemics are still active elsewhere as Americans continue to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
“We live in a connected world, and I think what the pandemic has shown us is that no one is safe until we are all safe. The pandemic is one dimension. I’m sorry, “says Kamato.
U.S. community responds to COVID-19 death surge
Source link U.S. community responds to COVID-19 death surge