What do you know about Covid?
I know Covid is a very serious disease which is spreading rapidly. Many people are dying because of it on a daily basis. That’s why it is a serious illness.

Does anyone in the village has Covid?
It is difficult for me to say if anyone in the village has Covid because no-one is really tested and I don’t know who is tested or not. That’s why I cannot say if anyone has Covid.

Has anyone fever and cough in the village?
I’ve seen one or two people who had a little fever and cough. They went to the doctor in the village. He has given them medicine and now they are better.

What do the people in the village know about Covid?
From what I have heard, people in the village are saying that there is nothing like Covid. It’s just a rumor. It’s a scheme of the government to scare us so that we go into these hospitals to get injections/vaccines which will kill us. So it’s a scheme of the government to reduce the population.

Do people talk about Covid in the village?
Yes they do. They say the same thing that there is nothing like covid and it’s all a plan to kill us. So we will not get vaccinated.

When was the first time you went to the Covid station in Panna?
I went to the Covid station in Panna for the first time before I went to Chandigarh for the Skateboarding Championships.

What have you seen there?
I saw other people getting tested. They took samples from the throat of the people. We were getting nervous to see those people getting tested because they looked like they will be vomiting. I think that was because doctor was putting a stick deep down their throat to take the sample.

How was it to get the test?
It was very weird because they inserted something in our nose to get the sample. We were a little scared but it was not as scary as we were imagining. So it was okay.

What did the kids say in Panna when they got tested?
At first, the kids were saying we don’t want to get tested because they saw that doctor was taking sample from throat of the people. It was scary for the kids. It was scary for me as well. So they were saying at first that we don’t want to get tested. When it was our turn, the doctor took the sample from our noses. Even that was very weird but the kids were okay with it. They also had a lot of fun when it was someone else’s turn.

The girls waiting for their tests

How do you think is the Covid situation in Panna?
I think the Covid situation in Panna is not very good. The situation is very serious. We should take it seriously as well because many people have died in Panna due to Covid.

How was it when you took the ladies to get the vaccine (what did you have to do, how long did it take …. And so on)
I took four ladies for vaccination. They had to show their Adhaar card and provide a phone number to the lady at the counter. Only these two things were needed. They gave us a slip, we showed it to the doctor and then the ladies got vaccinated. The doctor asked us to stay for half an hour. After vaccination. So all in all it took us 45 minutes.

Do the villagers take the vaccine?
Not all of them, only a few.

If no, why not?
They don’t believe that there is something like Covid. They are saying that there is nothing like Covid. And we will die if we get the vaccine and we don’t want to get the vaccine. Covid is nothing but a lie.

Why did your mother / Arun’s mother have taken the vaccine? 
They have taken the vaccine because we requested them to take it. We explained them about them the vaccine. They trust us – why would we want our parents to fall sick or face problems? They really trust us – that’s why they’ve taken the vaccine.

How did you feel when you were with them at the vaccine place?
To be honest, I was also a little scared because when you hear from everyone that people are dying after getting a vaccine then you get a little scared. So I was worried about my mother. I knew that everyone is telling rubbish but still there was a little fear.

At the Vaccination Center in Panna

Why do you get vaccinated?
I will take the vaccine because I don’t want that my family or anyone else in our village suffers because of me. I want that I stay safe, my family stays safe and all the people around me stay safe.

How do you see the current situation in Panna?
The current situation in Panna is very serious because a lot of people have died. I knew two-three people. It’s a very bad situation. There are new cases every day in hospitals. So I don’t think that the current situation in Panna is good.

In the theatre play about Covid you did with the kids last year you were explaining some COVID rules – are you personally following them?
Personally I am following them. I try to follow them every day and I try that the people around me and my family also follow them.

Are the people in the village following them?
People in the village were following them but recently I saw a big crowd and the guys were playing cards. Some people are following the rules but not all. Especially those people who have a big mouth and tell others to keep social distance and wear a mask – they were playing cards.

What do you think can be done to win the battle with Covid?
I think that every one of us should follow the Covid rules all the time and remind others to do the same. And if every one of us follows the rules then of course we can win this battle.

Do you know about the situation in Delhi?
I don’t know much about the situation but I know that the situation is very severe in Delhi. I can’t imagine how people are facing this tough time in Delhi. I have heard Delhi has a lot of cases. A lot of people are dying there. And people are not even getting beds in hospitals and they are not even getting oxygen. That’s why Delhi’s situation is very bad. I pray that this all will end quickly and people become healthy again. I pray that this Covid will end soon.

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