We are making global strides in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, but as much as we wish things were different, the worldwide loss is far from over. In some parts of the world, infection rates are climbing higher than ever before - especially in India. The nation is suffering through a catastrophic second wave of the virus, after a year of success keeping COVID-19 case rates relatively low within the country. This massive wave of grief is something that no one, either in India or abroad, expected to see this far into our battle with the virus. But as we’ve learned over the last year and a half, this pandemic is anything but predictable.
India is sometimes known as “the world’s pharmacy” thanks to its booming pharmaceutical industry. India is the largest producer of generic medications in the world and meets 62% of global vaccine demand. But that hasn’t always equated to easy vaccine access for India’s citizens, and the pandemic is no exception. With a large percentage of vaccines being shipped to other countries, access to a jab in India isn’t always available. At the beginning of May, when the COVID-19 surge first started to make headlines, only 1.8% of India’s population had been fully vaccinated. That number is increasing, but not nearly fast enough to secure a healthier future for everyone who is worried about their safety. And in the meantime, the virus continues to spread.
As of this writing, India has had more than 24 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including 1.7 million new cases in the past week alone) and more than 270,000 deaths from the virus. Today alone, more than 4,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 - and that’s just what’s been officially recorded. As hospitals reach capacity limits and the healthcare system nears collapse in some regions, many COVID-19 patients with serious cases are battling the illness at home. Those who pass away at home may not be recorded as official COVID-19 deaths, to say nothing of the many recovered cases that are never diagnosed. As a result,experts estimate that there have been as many as 2-5 times more deaths than what’s currently recorded.
It’s one thing to read these sobering facts, and it’s quite another to see the reality of them - at least on a screen. News stations across the world have shared coverage of patients in India lined up outside of overflowing hospitals, families trying to keep cherished loved ones conscious while desperately searching across the city for life-saving oxygen canisters, and overwhelmed healthcare providers too outnumbered by critically ill patients to provide the level of care they want and need to give.
While we can never know how painful and uncertain it must feel to be living through the experience, news coverage and secondhand stories alone paint a picture that stuns. As a company that regularly works with suppliers and makers in India, the TTM team is devastated.
How we can help
The global community feels the way we do, as people around the world clamor to help in any way they can. Leaders worldwide are being called upon to share much-needed oxygen and supplies to the country, but what can we do as individuals? At TO THE MARKET, we turn to CARE.From their famous CARE packages to thousands of other projects focused on social justice, defeating poverty, and building a better world for women and girls, the organization has helped millions. Now, they’re stepping up to help India. A donation to CARE can help provide emergency aid to help supply oxygen, fund more healthcare workers, supply additional hospital beds, and quickly get aid to where it’s needed most. Every little bit can help to make a difference, no matter how large or small. Even in our darkest moments, we are all part of the same shared global community - and no matter how helpless we may feel, there are always small steps we can take to help our fellow humans.