“At this moment, I want to shut out the world. But I am her medium and I don’t want to let her down,” Ravish Chawla told The Independent.
His wife Dr Dimple Arora Chawla, 34, died on 26 April, a day after losing their unborn child. She got infected with the virus in the seventh month of her pregnancy.
“I just heard from a family member that she was discussing in December the lack of studies on Covid-19 and pregnancy. She wanted to research on it,” said Mr Chawla.
Dr Arora Chawla had a masters in dental surgery and was very particular about precautions for Covid-19. “She would get tested every three to four months. She used to wear masks and PPE when stepping out,” said Mr Chawla.
He said the virus caught his wife unguarded. “We live in a joint family, and the virus came home with someone,” he said.
His wife tested positive for Covid on 11 April. She didn’t take many medicines and even avoided undergoing a CT scan because she thought it might be harmful for the baby, Mr Chawla told the Press Trust of India news agency in an earlier interview. She was taken to hospital after a few days when her oxygen level suddenly fell.
She was administered Remdesivir and plasma therapy, but she developed pain on 25 April in her abdomen and the ultrasound revealed that she had lost her baby. She died the next day.
On Sunday, Mr Chawla tweeted a video in which Dr Arora Chawla is seen, sat up in bed, urging the viewer to take the threat of coronavirus seriously. “I really want to tell each and every one to not take Covid-19 so lightly. Very bad symptoms... I am not able to speak,” she says.
“I really want to convey my message to all — please wear masks whenever you go out and whenever you interact with people for your safety and the safety of your near ones.
“I really don’t want anyone to have such symptoms. Please don't be irresponsible and wear masks when you step outside. There are elderly people, pregnant women and children at your home, and the impact is worse on them.”
Mr Chawla said that the video, shot on 17 April, was originally meant just for their family and friends. “She would have been proud that people are paying heed to it (her message), and if even a single life can be saved or awareness can be created among people, especially among pregnant women,” he said.
He decided to publicly share the video on Mother’s Day, which was on Sunday in India, for their son. “Up there, she would be proud that she is leaving a legacy for her son. That his mum is a hero,” he said.