The Second Wave

It’s 36 degrees, 80% humidity, monsoon has started but today the sky is blue and the sun is blazing. Kunal and I are stuck in traffic, the A/C is off so the engine doesn’t overheat, sweat drips inside my mask, beads run down my chin. We both wind the windows down, lean out, pull our masks down and gasp deep breaths of air.

It’s sticky and uncomfortable but we’re both smiling. We’re having a great time. The van we’ve borrowed has 500 kg of food parcels in the back. This is the last of the 3,750 kg of food that has been distributed by our staff and their neighbours. Dropping off the much needed help is a buzz but we aren't the only ones smiling. At each stop we are greeted by friendly, thankful smiles.

This second wave of Covid 19 has been brutal. The numbers of infections and deaths were absolutely staggering. The inevitable second lockdown didn’t come as a surprise but definitely wasn’t met with enthusiasm. Isolation, boredom, depression, and family conflicts arise in close quarters as the days drag on and on. Once again though, we’ve witnessed the inspiring resilience of the Indian people. Their ability to deal with enormous challenges is incredible.

Our response to the crisis has been multi-faceted. Through a strong business position we’re still able to support all our staff with their full wages. On top of the food aid, we’ve also been able to help distribute masks, hand sanitiser, arrange testing, and get all our staff and their families vaccinated with their first shots.

Thankfully now the lockdown is lifting. Slowly we’re getting back to work. Transport is still limited so not all our staff can come everyday but at least the stitching needles have been picked up and beautiful leather goods are being made once again.

There’s still a strong presence of Covid in India and in our neighbourhoods. The fight goes on. Some experts are already talking of a third wave, coming sooner rather than later. I’m hoping they're wrong.

Thank you so much for your support. Thank you for your patience in these disrupted times. And thank you for purchasing The Loyal Workshop products and helping make this special Loyal family possible.