Tuesday 28 September 2021

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed


The Covid peak madness is calling YOU


Those who have recovered from the virus, and those willing to use PPE, please volunteer your services at the hospital. For any small help will be a big deal. Can we have a volunteer WhatsApp group established by willing, recovered youth?? We need to bumble along these next two months. And stay alive.

The sheer insanity and the brutal, unforgiving nature of this virus has finally hit home.

And HOW?

Cases galloping, every nook and cranny of Goa, under an all-out assault, no social class or religion spared.

And genuine, 24-karat heroes, the medical teams from the government sector putting up the most gallant fight back, that Goan history will ever record.

The private sector is slowly pitching in, but the logistics of managing this pandemic is horrendously enormous.

So, first let's go with some good though sobering news.

Despite us being at peak pandemic status in Goa, we are not seeing the overwhelming number of body-bags one saw in NYC or Bergamo or Mexico City or Wuhan.

Even elderly folk: many of them in fact are beating the pants off this virus.

Is the virus attenuated??

Are drugs like Remdesivir and steroids, available freely, helping??

Is plasma therapy working a trick or two??

Many of my colleagues at the COVID ESI hospital swear by plasma therapy.

Is the HCQS prophylaxis, which most doctors and nurses are taking in Goa, helping them get mild attacks??

I frankly do not know.

No one can predict the course of this virus and the body-bags may still mount.

But then HOPE counts.

Hopefully we will live, that is.

And now for an honest appraisal on the ground, which is not necessarily all hunky dory.

My humble (can I ever, ever, be humble?) suggestions:


This is our biggest Achilles heel, and it is still not satisfactorily addressed.

The inordinate delays, the rapid deployment of testing in containment zones which is not happening at all, the inability of the private sector to get permissions for testing.

The laundry list is endless.

Sure it is better than most states, but can we aggressively ratchet up the music, faster, higher, further?

To use an analogy of war, which this effectively is, inadequate and delayed testing is like having your espionage activities severely curtailed.

And without robust intelligence inputs you don't win wars.


This is so, so freaking Key.

At the last meeting of the treatment protocol committee, all treatment requirements seemed to be in place.

Drugs including Remdesivir, ventilators and High Frequency nasal oxygen machines are available or to be made available, as assured by the Dean, head honcho of the committee.

Also agreed, and what one hopes will be expeditiously deployed, is additional staff to man the Covid ESI hospital.

From nurses to additional doctors to psychotherapists to physiotherapists to Admin staff. We need people, people and more people to man the war zones.

The Dean has assured this will happen yesterday, but then the proof of the Bebinca is in the eating.

To use a war analogy again.

You can have the best Rafales in the world, but what use are they if there are no pilots to fly them??

The staff needs to be motivated, rotated and appreciated.

Nothing, nothing less will do.

Ratan Tata opened the doors of the Taj to house these Covid warriors. Our hotels are eerily closed resembling ghost stations.

And whichever way you look at the argument, Drs Edwin and Ira, you will always be the brave heart, super-heroes you always are.


Let me relate you this story that I picked up at the Covid ESI. 

Clefacio, the Cuncolim MLA, was seriously, seriously ill, and his son refused to budge from his bedside to close to four weeks he was in hospital.

He contracted the virus himself but this young kid stood like a rock by his Dad, during the entire crisis.

He could have easily chosen to get his skull cracked at an Arpora rave party but he chose wisely.

So those who have recovered from the virus, and those willing to use PPE, please volunteer your services at the hospital.

For any small help will be a big deal. Trust me.

So can we have a volunteer WhatsApp group established by willing, recovered youth??

Call of duty perhaps??

 In sum then we need to bumble along these next two months. And stay alive.

We need to be the wind beneath one another's wings to help us rise and keep afloat.

We require being terrified but calm, generous not selfish, and walk on the sunny side of the street but keep an umbrella just in case.

A vaccine is tantalizingly close, the warriors are exhausted but bravely fighting on, older folk are refusing to drop dead, the mildly symptomatics are the biggest number.

But cases still continue to rise, wards (even in GMC) are chock- a-block, the virus is still not done yet with its cataclysmic onslaught, and we certainly ain't out of the woods yet.

I urge the authorities, who I know are also dead-beat tired to please not take your eyes off the ball, provide every logistic support to the army on the battlefield, bury political differences and wage those wars another day.

We need to beat this little piece of s*t *TOGETHER

Because, remember my friends,

The bells toll, and often the bells toll for thee!

In the cacophony of our Goan socio-political discourse, one hopes we don't turn deaf, as the bells ominously toll, right next to each and everyone of us…

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

Tell us what you are doing, besides complaining of course and dropping gospel turds on this forum.

Madhav Kamat |

Dear Doctor Rebello

I deeply appreciate your" tell it like is " approach and look forward to your updates on covid 19 .please take care too .

Kimmy Sheorey |

Well said, Oscar. One doctor we trust 100%.

Shireen & Cawas |

And at last the acknowledgement of arrogance from the apex goan himself. Greater good would be served if the cause effect of this arrogance could be studied and managed, as it affects nearly every government employee no matter how humbly designated, and seems to carry forward for the rare ones who progress to elsewhere.

Congratulations. Great article

Sachin |

I appreciate your command over the english language and truly it is a pleasure to read your delivery of the vocabulary long forgotten after schooling. God bless you Dotorbab !!

Amar Kantak |

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Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.


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