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‘We Are Sweating Profusely And Bleeding During Our Period In Our PPE’ A Female Covid Worker Talks About Life Right Now

June 15, 2020 | by Neeharika Nene
FI The Trials Of A Female Covid Frontline Worker

Disease doesn’t discriminate – it’s true, but only on the superficial level. In course of the past few months, we’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly and indiscriminately. But it has affected some more in than others, and in worse ways. Whether its the migrant workers, who were left homeless and financially unstable after their places of work shut down, or doctors and nurses who are in frequent contact with COVID positive patients and are thus at a high risk of contracting it, everyone is not the same. And this does not even scratch the surface of the pandemic’s impact on those without access to medical care due to financial or other constraints. We have to remember that even though we are all sailing in the same boat, for some it is a cruise, while others have to make do with a raft.

A junior resident doctor in the pathology department at KEM hospital has penned an honest letter detailing what it takes to be a ‘female frontline COVID warrior’. Reshma Shinde has opened up about the stigma associated with the virus and how it plays into her life despite the praise she has received. “Though my house was blessed with praises for my work, marriage proposals had stopped knocking my house doors. It took me no time to realize, that, it was due to the stigma associated with the word ‘COVID’.” she wrote in the Facebook post shared by the Resident Doctors KEM Hospital page. “I discussed this with my female counterparts who were going through the same phase as me.”


She has also written about the challenges of menstruating while at work. “Periods occur even in a pandemic. If a female doctor can’t talk comfortably about her periods, how can we expect society to?” she said. “I had a weird feeling in my mind about the deadly combination of bleeding and sweating simultaneously in a PPE. So in the initial days, I managed to manipulate my COVID duties according to the convenient time of my menstrual cycle.”

“These challenges are faced on a regular basis when a woman’s body is inside a frontline worker. But, still, We women, are blessed with special powers to work despite all these struggles.”

Her letter is not only inspiring, but also humbling. It gives us an insight into how difficult this time has been for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, and how tirelessly they have been working to battle the pandemic. For those menstruating while on duty, it is an even more difficult task. Still, they put up a brave front and carry on. Reshma Shinde’s letter is yet another reminder to not take their efforts for granted. At the end of the day, they are human beings, and have to go back to their families too. Let’s stay home, stay safe, and do everything in our power to flatten the curve.


Neeharika Nene

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