A helping hand for those in distress, from across the fence

Residents in many apartments delivering daily meals as well as essentials to virus-affected families

After 13 months of being united by a public health crisis that has had repercussions for almost everyone, many citizens are now taking up the cudgels to help each other as far as possible. There has largely been a welcome change in the attitude towards COVID-positive persons, a far cry from this time last year when they were treated as outcasts.

A septuagenarian couple in an apartment in Ameerpet were initially tense when they tested positive and had mild symptoms. Their immediate concern was that there was no one in the family to attend to them; their children reside abroad. Then there was the concern of being stigmatised and facing an awkward situation like many of their acquaintances had. But, to their relief, their neighbours ensured the couple was taken care of and well. Residents of their apartment complex offered to share the responsibility of providing meals to them on a daily basis.

Thanks to a WhatsApp group created by the residents of the complex, the communication became easier. The neighbours could directly enquire about their specific needs. “It was unexpected. For us, a bigger concern was being treated as untouchables. We are grateful to all the residents for being very caring and concerned,” says Venkat, a retired government employee.

This is not an isolated case. Similar friendly neighbourhood stories have been pouring in from a newly-constructed apartment in Miyapur. Three of a family — a man, his wife and a school-going daughter — tested positive for COVID-19, while the youngest member — a son — tested negative. In their case too, neighbours joined forces to keep the family’s morale high besides meeting their daily needs. “Such kind gestures may as well be a factor that help affected families in home isolation recover faster,” remarked a resident of the apartment.

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