Second Place

When War Comes Home

Amit Chakravarty

Indian Express

Being a journalist and covering the pandemic, I was extra cautious for my elderly parents at home. I had quarantined myself in a room since March, when I first went on assignment to the Gujarat border to cover the mass migration from Maharashtra to the neighboring states due to lockdown. On the 2nd of June, early morning my father’s (84yrs) health condition deteriorated. Fearing the worse, especially due to his pre-existing medical conditions, I rushed him to a nearby hospital. At the Hospital casualty ward, doctors screened him for his body temperature and other vitals. After the initial screening and formalities, He had to be admitted to the hospital’s quarantine for further investigations. We were asked to undergo compulsory Covid-19 test (as protocols demanded). As the night passed my tension grew and the much-awaited results came my father, was COVID positive. He was transferred to the R-ICU for his further treatment The family and I underwent home quarantine for the next 14 days. For the family, the war front became four faced. First, to mitigate any further contamination at home by cleaning and sterilizing every possible corner of the flat, and tracking each other to ensure that none of us showed any symptoms of Corona. Second, to gain the confidence of our neighbors that we are not potential health hazards to them. Third, to make sure my dad is looked after properly at the hospital. Finally, the doctors suggested that we should take dad home for his further recovery, he has not shown any further symptoms since his admission and does not require further hospitalization. The final call came post 5 pm on 9th June when the discharge processes started. He was stamped on his hand for home quarantine till the 17th of June and finally reached home at 12′ o’clock in the night. A daily caregiving routine soon followed and continues till day as I write. With his quarantine period long over and much improved health. It seemed certain normalcy has prevailed finally.

Amit Chakravarty is a photographer currently employed with Indian Express newspaper in Mumbai.

[ COVID EXPRESSIONS ] An interpretive project that reflects the personal experiences, feelings and thoughts related to COVID-19 and its impact. It may be conceptual or artistic in the approach. Submissions do not have to adhere to documentary principles. Alternate processes and digital manipulations are allowed. Each submission consists of 5 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 2 submissions. The images must be taken in 2019 or 2020.

Judges for Covid Expressions
Anshika Varma
Jiro Ose
Suejin Shin
Khalil Hamra
Rena Effendi