Harinder and Harpreet Dhillon are deeply worried and frustrated, watching from Australia as India's devastating coronavirus crisis worsens day by day.
"It's very scary," Harpreet said.
"We're calling my family every day and checking everybody is okay. I check with my friends. I'm still waiting to hear from my friend who's husband has got it, we haven't heard from her."
"We can't even imagine how they're going through it there. We're just sitting here," Harinder said, adding he just wants to be there to take care of his family.
"It's terrible. It's a very sad thing. And now they're putting everything online as well, so you can watch live. It's very distressing and sad how people are struggling in the street, dying, and cremation and all of those sorts of things."
People are taking cremation of their loved ones into their own hands with many taking place on the side of the streets. The hospital system is so overwhelmed they have nowhere to store all the bodies, and families are forced to keep the bodies at home, while waiting for their ticket number to come up for their turn. It's summer in India, and bodies decompose fast. There are fears of resulting disease, and people are wanting to adhere to their religious traditions, which prescribe that bodies must be buried as soon as possible after death.
Harinder and Harpreet own Taree's Jashan Lounge restaurant. Apart from their four children, aged from three years old to 17, they have no family in Australia. Harinder has lived here for 21 years and Harpreet 18.
They try and visit India every two or three years, but the last time they managed to was eight years ago. Harpreet was planning for herself and the children to visit for her only brother's wedding, which took place a little more than a week ago. In February, however, Harpreet's mother urged her not to come over as the COVID-19 cases were flaring up and she was worried for her daughter's health, as Harpreet has type one diabetes.
It's very distressing and sad how people are struggling in the street, dying, and cremation and all of those sorts things.Harinder Dhillon
Harpreet watched her brother's wedding via Facetime, and dressed up to try and be a part of it.
"She sat there all day on her little phone," Harinder said.
Harpreet cried while watching because she wasn't able to be there.
Pune in West India, where Harpreet's family live, is a hot spot.
Harinder's family are from the Punjab region where the pandemic isn't quite so bad. His parents are securely locked down in their family home, with his sister organising deliveries so they do not have to leave.
"Now they're trying to do smaller lockdowns for a weekend and that makes no sense," Harinder said.
Incredibly, the Punjab state has instituted curfews instead of a lockdown - from 5pm to 6am every evening only, so that people can go out and work. In Pune, the city is in lockdown apart from between 6am and 11am every day, so people can go out and get necessities.
At the time of writing, India had recorded 18,754,925 cases and 208,313 deaths, with 386,888 new cases and 3501 new deaths over the last 24 hours.
And these are only the recorded cases.
"I think they are the cases (in the slum areas) that are not recorded. They can't afford to go to the hospital because of expensive treatment. And they're more worried as well, once they go to the hospital maybe they'll get tested and they'll have to self quarantine, and they can't financially afford it," Harinder explained.
Harinder and Harteep are frustrated by what they consider the Indian government's inaction in handling the situation.
There has to be something needs to be done which has to be done quickly. Just take some action. Do something!
"The Indian government should do something about it, rather than sitting down waiting for a 10 hours curfew," Harinder said.
"If they could give some money to the poor people so they could stay home while locked down, and they could still have something to eat, rather than just shutting it down. That's the source of income. If the poor are out of work how are they going to feed their family?
"The JobKeeper and JobSeeker (in Australia) helps everyone. The Australian government did a very good job.
"Looking at the bodies, we do feel frustrated. There has to be something needs to be done which has to be done quickly. Just take some action. Do something!"
The couple think that stopping flights from India for a short period time is a good move by the Australian government, but they do have questions, such as why didn't the Australian government stop all flights from the US when they were having similar numbers? They also think there should be exemptions for weddings and funerals.
The day after interviewing the Dhillons, the Australian government announced it was making it illegal for Australian citizens in India to travel home, threatening a five-year jail term or a $66,600 fine.
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