International Unitarian Universalism

United in Grief: The Second Surge of COVID-19 in India

Group of people wearing protective masks during COVID-19 surge in India. Two in the center hold a medical informational sign written in Hindi.

Awareness campaign for COVID symptoms in villages in Maharashtra, India.

As India has endured the pandemic’s deadly second wave, loss and trauma have been palpable in every household.

Unlike the first wave, this time Covid has made no distinction between rich or poor, urban city dweller or villager. The pandemic has united all in grief and fear.

At the height of the second surge, oxygen cylinders, drugs, and hospital beds were all in short supply. Community-run helplines and social media were often the only source of assistance. The worst of this may now be over in big cities, but the reality is different in rural areas, where the true scale of infections remains unknown and many villagers fear seeking care.

This sudden Covid surge left UU Holdeen India Program partners scrambling to mobilize humanitarian assistance. It forced many to innovate overnight. Some converted their offices and education campuses into Covid care centers. These centers have been a lifeline for community members who have no way to quarantine in their homes or the means to go to a hospital. Other organizations linked up with doctors to provide telemedicine services for the sick. Wherever cases have now come down, partners are focusing on mass vaccination campaigns, fighting hard to dispel myths about the vaccines.

During these past two months, our humanitarian aid community have lost numerous grassroot leaders and young team members in India. So many are now struggling with the loss of loved ones and colleagues.

The process of healing will be a long and arduous one. But as we heal, we draw strength from our allies.

The solidarity expressed by the global UU community has lifted our hearts and fortified our spirits. Your support has empowered our partners in India to continue sowing more peace, liberty, and justice.

If you would like to make a contribution toward our Covid-19 response in India, please donate today.