ON 14 NOVEMBER, my sister Baran messaged me from Delhi. “Bhai not well. Panicky situation here. Fever not subsiding though it is below 100F and oxygen level slightly reduced.” My heart sank. My father was scheduled to leave for Allahabad the next day. It took a lot of persuasion from Baran to make him change his plans. Ultimately, he agreed to stay.
The doctor who saw his X-ray pronounced that Father’s lungs were hazy. We reassured ourselves that this was because he had been a heavy smoker. We communicated on WhatsApp through voice notes as our hands shook and we couldn’t type. We tried to convince ourselves that it could not be COVID-19, although ugly doubts were beginning to surface.