When the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, there was no telling how long the crisis would last. However, the pandemic served as an important reminder of the life-saving care doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers give every day.

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While most of us were coping with higher levels of anxiety and chronic stress as a result of living with the threat of a pandemic, frontline workers were work day in and day out to serve the public and save lives.

Have you ever wondered how they were coping up with the daily stress of looking at the over-packed COVID-19 ward daily? Opoyi spoke to some of these heroes who shared that they were finding joy in playing their favourite instrument, doing yoga, and spending time with family.

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Dr. Bimlesh Dhar Pandey – Consultant, Rheumatology Fortis Hospital, Noida, says that for one and half years they fought like heroes. “We have to fight a little more that’s it,” he said.

“Many people ask me that how I manage to handle so much stress daily. To them, I say we have to lead two lives together. One at the hospital and another one at home and at both the places, you have to give your best not second best. What is do is when I leave the hospital, I completely switch off from work and dedicate all my time to family,” he told Opoyi.

“Also, it is important to communicate. Don’t hold back. Explore what you like the most for example I discovered during pandemic that some of my junior doctors can play mouth organs so well. Some are yoga practitioners while some are great painters,” said Dr. Pandey and added that never underestimate yourself. “It’s important to value yourself.”

Dr Aniruddha Arjun Malgaonkar, Medical Superintendent, Thane Covid Hospital said that “as stress-free life is essential so is balanced food and we often forget that proper eating and balanced diet in view of working very hard.”

“ It is advisable to eat healthy and nutritious food so that you have the energy to work hard and serve the public. Also, exercise is essential.”

Avi Kumar – Consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts, Okhla, New Delhi, said that pandemic has given a new perspective towards life.

“We have seen so many cheerful faces in our OPDs nowadays and it really feels good when you see patients getting another life after this pandemic,” he told Opoyi.

For Aparna Mahajan, Consultant, ENT, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad, the COVID era has been a difficult and trying time for both doctors and non-doctors Initially.

“When it came to work, wearing a PPE undouble mask for whole 8 to 10 hours was a big task. The foremost problem which usually came from our colleagues was due to dryness of the throat as the amount of consumption of water immediately decreased because of the constant mask usage and gloves on their hands.

“Along with this prevailing discomfort at the workplace, constant worry about family safety was quite daunting. I and my husband both being doctors had to live in a separate apartment as my elderly parents and my child were in the vulnerable age group. This step was taken to keep them safe,” she said.