The COVID 19 masked the entire world at the onset of 2020, starting from China and spreading to the entire world until it was declared a Pandemic. The Coronavirus has shut down almost every country, forcing people to stay indoors just to keep ourselves safe from this contagion. Lives have been lost, offices have been shut, employees have been retrenched and the economy has fallen drastically.
As the virus has reached the Community Transition stage there is still a small margin of the society that risks their lives during this Pandemic. One forgotten set of people who are least recognized are our warriors at sea. Traversing the entire world, our Seafarers bravely continue their voyages in order to avert a global crisis when it comes to food and many other essentials we rely on daily. In fact, the equipment to combat this deadly virus is shipped to different corners of the globe by these front liners.
Behind these warriors at sea, there is a strong set of people… the families of these Seafarers. The strongest of them is the Sailor’s Wife. With emotions hidden, she takes care of her home. But at the back of her mind, she worries about her husband’s health is this global crisis. As she goes through her daily chores, a silent prayer for his safe return crosses her mind. Like thousands of these Sailor Wives around the world, my mind raced with emotions imploring the great power above that my husband would return home safely. I wondered about the people he would cross paths with, about the situation of countries he was asked to sail to, about the stress he would be going through and the list goes on. Never a day goes by while we wait for the phone to beep to know he’s safe and sound.
Life is just not the same when he is on the voyages. Irrespective of the good or bad times, the sole responsibility lies on us to keep the family positive. While I am anchored in his love, I believe our faith keeps him safe. As they say, when there is faith, miracles happen. To our surprise, luck favoured us and the ship was called to Mumbai Port (where we reside). Meanwhile Synergy Maritime geared ahead persistently for the approval of sign-off and sign on at all Indian Ports. A special thanks to Captain Amit Joshi and Captain Viswanathan, who stood at the forefront to make sure my husband got home safely, in spite of all the regulations imposed by the government. A sense of relief surged my mind when he was permitted to come home. A negative COVID test result, but he still decided to self-quarantine for 14 days. So close yet so far during these days but all is well that ends well.
Every day as we count our blessings, let us all come together and say a silent prayer for the sailors who are stranded and who are unable to come home to their families. Let’s not forget the selflessness of these warriors at Sea and the families praying for their safe return.
DULIN MARK FERNANDES
(WIFE OF CAPT MARK FERNANDES)