Manav Gohil had a difficult time battling coronavirus in April this year. Not just the Shaadi Mubarak actor, his nine-year-old daughter also caught the infection and she had to be quarantined at home. Manav, however, spent most part of the time in a Mumbai hospital. It took him eighteen days to finally test negative. Eleven days of this period were spent under professional medical supervision.
Now, he opens up about the time spent battling Covid and shares some insights from his recovery. “My fight was very different. When I figured I had the coronavirus, I got worried about my family. The fact that my nine-year-old daughter got it with me was shocking. But she quickly responded and recovered. My health went into a spiral. The fever was not coming down. I resisted going to the hospital in the beginning. I don’t have any vices like smoking or a drinking habit so I thought of recovering at home. But my viral load was heavy. My friend and wife almost pushed me to the hospital. Through this, I realised one thing that timely treatment is important. We have to be little proactive and one step ahead of the emergency. Men generally have a casual attitude, and think they are predominantly healthy. But this is my concern. When people look for facilities during emergencies, they have already lost crucial time. In my case, I am glad wisdom prevailed and we could admit me in time," says Manav.
He further adds, “Hospital was a challenge. The energy of that place is a bit different. I was eager to get out. I was in such a concealed space that I could not see the sky for 10-12 days. There was little ventilation and I could not get fresh air. The sunlight never seeped in. Now, I have found new value in nature."
About his young daughter’s battle with Covid, Manav says, “It was miserable for me as a father when she got the virus. She could not meet me or sleep with her mother. We are physically very close people, so we keep hugging and holding hands. Suddenly, she had to go into isolation and it was difficult for us. One of the nights, my wife had to be on a video call with her till she slept off. It was a heartbreaking time."
Meanwhile, the entertainment industry has been reeling under the impact of the coronavirus. The shooting was completely shut for about three months in the past year, before getting a go ahead with restrictions and strict covid safety protocols, cast and crew have been scrambling to nearby locations in Gujarat, Goa and Hyderabad after the second wave that has struck March onwards. Manav shares his views on how the TV industry has been bearing the brunt in this pandemic.
“The whole industry is in a lot of discomfort. It is not an essential industry but people lean on entertainment a lot, especially during these times. So our mantra has been ‘the show must go on’. Producers, actors, labourers, technicians, everyone has been impacted by both the waves, and adversely so. When I started shooting in July (for Shaadi Mubarak), everything was under a lot of stress. There was a constant worry, ‘what if I caught it? My family too will get it.’ We have been working under tremendous strain. We are trying to keep up with it but there has been a lot of crisis in our industry," Manav shares.
Some have been of the opinion that shooting can be put on hold until the coronavirus spread subsides. To this, Manav says, “It is a valid debate. I may be able to sustain a year or two maybe but a lot of workers from UP and Bihar have nothing back home. They don’t have land or other means to survive. For the sake of the industry, it is important to continue working. At the same time, if the government has allowed the industry to function, and people go around without masks, I get upset. If we have the liberty to work, we can’t take it for granted. Everyone has to take ownership of their own safety. It’s a tightrope walk."
“The channels are not sure what to do next sometimes. It is terrible for producers and actors too. Personally, the concern has been my health and the well-being of my family."