Picture credit- Nikita Arora

Viral deaths sans infection


Not the virus, but the fear of catching the virus led a man to jump off his building in Meerut. 

Nikita Arora | Meerut 

On April 17, around 8.30 AM, a 30-year-old business-man jumped from his terrace amidst the rising fear of coronavirus. The incident took place in Surya Nagar, Meerut, which is one of the  hotspots in the city.  

He was admitted to Sushila Jaswantrai Maternity and General Hospital immediately and is undergoing treatment as of now. 

Dilip Singhal, his neighbour, said, “I saw him sitting on the terrace early morning. However, I didn’t sense anything fishy at that moment. The incident has come as a shock to me as well.” 

The police, guarding the houses at Surya Nagar were already present at the spot when the event took place. One of the police officials, who requested anonymity, said, “I really had no clue that something like this would happen. The area was declared as a hotspot as there was a case of coronavirus 500 metres away.” 

“Most people in the colony generally sit in their balconies considering they cannot step out. They talk amongst themselves and even sing at times, from their own balconies. Amidst the present state of affairs, this was something that we really did not expect.”

Another resident of the area, Ashok Verma, said, “I did not know the family that well. But, I do know that there has been a lot of fear among the residents when a case of coronavirus was discovered in the area. Since then, we are trying our best to stay as careful as possible. The police are there at all times. This environment itself is quite negative and can definitely affect a person’s mentality. What makes it worse is that we are not used to talking about how we feel. The person who attempted suicide too, despite staying in the house with five other people, did not speak to anybody.” 

There have been several cases across the country of people committing suicide because of the rising fear and anxiety due to coronavirus. Apart from that, people are also hiding their travel history and running away from the treatment as soon as they are diagnosed. For instance, quite recently a man in Jamshedpur ran away from his house when police and health officials came to test him.  

Aleesha Rahmath, a psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurology Sciences (NIMHANS) said, “Just like how the government has come up with telecasting Ramayana and Mahabharata on DD National, I think they should come up with some informational videos which will help people in getting rid of their anxiety. They ought to control the news dissemination as well. For instance,  the Instagram handle of journalist Faye Dsouza runs this segment called “Good News Tonight” where she shares positive news, apart from the negative effects of the virus on society. Something like this keeps people optimistic.”


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