NEW DELHI — Crematories are so full of bodies, it’s as if a war just happened. Fires burn around the clock. Many places are holding mass cremations, dozens at a time, and at night, in certain areas of New Delhi, the sky glows.
Sickness and death are everywhere.
Dozens of houses in my neighborhood have sick people.
One of my colleagues is sick.
One of my son’s teachers is sick.
The neighbor two doors down, to the right of us: sick.
Two doors to the left: sick.
“I have no idea how I got it,” said a good friend who is now in the hospital. “You catch just a whiff of this…..” and then his voice trailed off, too sick to finish.
a vast underestimation.
New Delhi, India’s sprawling capital of 20 million, is suffering a calamitous surge. A few days ago, the positivity rate hit a staggering 36 percent — meaning more than one out of three people tested were infected. A month ago, it was less than 3 percent.
The infections have spread so fast that hospitals have been completely swamped. People are turned away by the thousands. Medicine is running out. So is lifesaving oxygen. The sick have been left stranded in interminable lines at hospital gates or at home, literally gasping for air.
been kidnapped in Iraq and been thrown in jail in more than a few places.
This is unsettling in a different way. There’s no way of knowing if my two kids, wife or I will be among those who get a mild case and then bounce back to good health, or if we will get really sick. And if we do get really sick, where will we go? ICUs are full. Gates to many hospitals have been closed.