“Have you ever felt like everything you’ve ever learned has been leading up to something? That everything you’ve ever worked on, every experience you have ever had, every decision you made would all lead to one final project?
And when you know that this final project can save lives or give comfort to those in need, can you prioritize anything else in your life until you create the solution you know you have the unique skills to build? That’s how it felt for me on 20th April.
My mom had just been responding to medicines— she caught COVID, developed a severe lung infection, and we struggled to find hospital beds. Luckily, she responded to the treatment at home. But thousands aren’t lucky. I could see that we needed a database of all essential services in one place during this emergency. We needed a clean solution, loads fast, and easily accessible, and one that could update quickly.
The Hyd COVID Resources app is a directory of all essential service providers in the city. We list providers of oxygen, plasma, pharmacies, meal providers, and a range of services that the people of Hyderabad need right now. Our incredible team of volunteers calls each of the sources and keeps the app updated every hour. Their work day after day is what powers the app and helps us serve the people of Hyderabad.
Earlier this year, I did a Fellowship in an emerging field of tech called no-code. No-code is a new breed of software development where you can build quick apps using visual development (a high-level programming language). I spent many years doing no-code work, but I spent three months polishing these skills in this Fellowship and launching fun apps quickly and cheaply. So when the time came in April to build an app quickly for a database for Hyderabad’s fight against COVID, I had just the right set of skills for this.
This app is a gargantuan effort. I’ve run many non-profit projects and startups since I was 18 years old, and my learnings there taught me so much that I was able to apply them to the operations and processes at hydcovidresources.com
In the past week, I’ve felt repeatedly grateful that I could use so many management practices that keep the ship running and take the help of our incredible team of 50+ volunteers. And I know I speak for each of them when I say that we are all grateful to have a chance to work on this to support our people.
Our country was blessed with a year of prep time. In 2020, when countries such as the USA struggled with the collapse of their healthcare systems, it was a warning bell for us to brace ourselves for what was coming. We had one long year to build extra oxygen supplies, increase medicine production, build additional hospital capacity and arrange for more cremation spaces. Unfortunately, our takeaway was that Indians had superior immune systems, and therefore we’d vanquished COVID.
It took one mutation to destroy everything we thought in the past year. I think we should all brace ourselves for the next couple of months and find the strength to hold on through this crisis. It’s not easy, and it’ll get worse until it starts getting better. Until then, volunteer if you can, but please don’t feel compelled to work. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and stay home — that’s an incredibly huge starting step.
We, as a team, at Hyd COVID Resources will continue to support our city in every way that we can offer it.”