One Small Step
Kodukula Avishka Rao
Milly Kumari Singh is a 7 years old girl who was just going to start her new session for Class 2. She was very excited because she was going to meet new teachers and make new friends and meet her old friends again. So she was really excited. Her mother is a doctor and her father is an engineer. On the night before her first day of school, a call comes to her mother from the school Principal. The Principal said, “ Sorry Ma’am, the school is closed from tomorrow till 22nd April, all the classes are cancelled and this is all due to the sudden spike in Covid 19 cases. A lockdown has been declared in the city.” After ending her call with the Principal, Milly’s mother felt a wave of sadness, she felt very sad for Milly who was looking forward to begin her new session. Then Milly excitedly entered the room and asked, “What happened Mummy what happened?
The Mother gestured her to come and sit on her lap. Milly anxiously sat on her mother’s lap gently. Milly’s mother caressed Milly’s curly hairs which had drifted over her face and with a soothing voice tried to convey what the Principal just spoke. She said, “ MIlly, due to the sudden lockdown because of the increase in the number of COVID 19 cases, your school is closed.”
Milly got very upset. She was really sad and she slowly went to her room. She switched on the TV and started watching her regular shows unexcitedly.
The next day Milly was playing outside with her dog, when her mother called her. She went inside the house and saw that her mother was all dressed up to go to work. But why Milly thought. There is a lockdown in the city. How can Mummy go?
Her mother said, “ Milly I have to go to the hospital.” Milly’s mother said that her senior doctor had called her as there was an emergency in the hospital.”Milly fevereishly asked,” Will you be back soon? Her mother had a very worried look on her face. She replied,” I don’t know sweetie, I will try, but be good when I am gone.” Milly said alright and followed her mother inside the dressing room, to see her get ready for work. But now Milly was very confused. She saw her mother carefully pick up a face mask and put it on her face, she then took her glasses and wore them, She picked up a face shield and also she took a small bottle of sanitiser in her pocket and stuffed few disposable gloves in her bag. She had last seen her mother wearing a face mask and gloves when she was preparing to enter the OT for a surgery and Milly was with her and her father in the hospital for a tetanus injection.
Milly anxiously asked her,” Mummy, why are you wearing these things while going to the hospital?”
But her mother was in a hurry. She hurriedly replied, “ Milly, I am late now, I will answer that later” and she left.
Milly closed the door and then went to her room and started playing. At around 2 PM, the maid called her and told her to have the lunch. After hurriedly gobbling up her food, she went to her room and watched her favourite Doremon show for sometime, when she heard her father’s car honk at the gate. She ran to open the door and went outside to see if her mom had also come. But Milly was very disappointed , her mother had not come.
Later at night around 7 PM, she finished her dinner , when she heard her mother’s car approaching. She ran outside and was eagerly waiting to hug her mother…But!
Milly’s mother said, “Don’t touch me, I have to take a bath first.” Dejectedly Milly said ok and closed the door behind her mother. Her mother was very tired and after a quick dinner, she was fast asleep. So Milly too went to her room after saying good night to her father.
The next day, Milly asked her mother , why she was wearing the mask, face shield gloves, glasses and a lab coat yesterday when she went to the hospital?
Her mother said ”Milly you know that COVID 19 is on the loose, right?”
Milly said, “Yes! But why are you wearing these things? Isn’t COVID19 just a flu?, Its harmless!”.
“No Milly, its dangerous, even though it seems like the common flu”.
“Wait!”…Her mother then went to get her laptop and after that she set up a con call with her boss, Dr. BK Kailash. Her boss was very good to Milly. He always had fun with her whenever Milly had the opportunity to visit the hospital with her mother.
Dr Kailash, “Good Morning Sanjukta, How are you? And why did you call?”
Dr. Sanjukta, “Good Morning Sir, I am fine , thank You. I called you because Milly has some serious questions about how COVID19 is dangerous or is harmful.”
Dr. Kailash, “ok”
Her mother called out at her daughter who had stepped out of the study room …., “Milly”!
Milly, “Yes Mummy, I am coming!”
Dr Sanjukta, “Milly , Kailash Uncle is on the video-call , say hello to him.”
Dr Kailash, “Hello Milly, how are you?
Milly: “I am fine Uncle, and you?”
Dr Kailash, “Me too. Now Milly didn’t you have a question about how COVID 19 is harmful to all of us?”
Milly, “Yes Uncle!”
Dr. Kailash, “So you see Milly, COVID 19 is a normal flu virus but with special quality. It can spread easily. So if somebody has it and has come in close contact with your mum in the hospital, the virus will also jump to her. That is why it is very harmful.”
Milly, “So why do we need to wear masks, then why is it so harmful, if it is a common flu. Common cold also spreads , so how is it harmful?”
Dr Kailash, “ No Milly, you are not understanding it. Even though its like a common cold, it is not easy to cure and it affects the old people and the young children like you the most. You see, if there is a person who is infected by COVID19 in a bus, and many people are all so travelling in that bus, then some of those people will be very vulnerable and will get infected with the virus especially small children and older people. The person who is infected with COVID 19, may look alright but he might be the carrier of the disease.”
Milly, ” Ok Uncle I understand a bit, but Mummy is going to the hospital and saving people’s lives .But how can I too help?”
Dr Kailash, “You see Milly, your Mummy is going to the hospital , that is right, and your Dad is helping people by giving them shelter and you can help by staying at home and can spread awareness by telling your friends and relatives by calling them and asking them to wear mask and to further spread the message.”
Milly, “ Thank You Uncle, for telling and of course that the least I can do”
Dr. Kailash, “It’s my pleasure little girl!”
Dr Kailash, “and don’t forget to wash your hands every time you go outside! OK”
Milly, “of course Uncle how can I forget that. Safety first !!”
Dr Kailash, “Thats right ! GOOD GIRL ! now bye”
Milly smiles and says “BYE BYE”
After the video call, Milly called all her friends, neighbours and many relatives and told them to wear masks in public places and to spread the awareness about COVID 19.
Moral of the Story: One Small Step Can Lead to a Huge Difference.
Stay Safe, Stay Clean & Stay Aware
Kodukula Avishka Rao is a Class 6 student of Maria’s Public School, Guwahati . From a tender age she is fond of cooking, baking cakes and swimming. As a swimmer, she had won medals in Duliajan and Tinsukia and had represented Zaloni Club. She write poems and this is her first attempt at story writing.