33 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2020 for it but there is no warning before it attacks. One’s best friends could unintentionally carry the enemy. Although there is no physical damage, the biological, emotional and economic damage is equally devastating. Essential supplies are in severe shortage worldwide, with very few suppliers who can ramp up pro- duction to meet the demand, while they themselves are sufferers from the pandemic. So, producers are themselves consumers and exporters as well. This poses unique supply chain and logistics demands that are hitherto unprecedented. Infrastructure is overwhelmed, for example, retail markets, emer- gency medical care, pharmaceuti- cals, barrier protection equipment becoming scarce for such pro- longed periods places enormous strain on public services as trans- portation and aviation. Lockdowns, at regional, national and international levels have posed extraordinary strain on reg- ulatory, economic, legal and judi- cial systems worldwide, requiring a concerted effort on part of all nations to facilitate transport of humans and essential supplies across borders and nations. This Covid19 war has brought the whole world together. For the first time in a war, there are no warring nations; there are only helping nations. Is there a favorite anecdote you want to share? During Covid, my essential sup- plies flights to Japan required an overnight halt in Tokyo. I was pleasantly surprised to find no bold signage anywhere in the air- port or malls or hotels indicating a lockdown or requesting face masks or to keep social distancing or to use the hand sanitizer. But everyone in the street and build- ings maintained social distancing, used face masks and sanitized on their own with no enforcement at all. Such mental discipline and individual responsibility to that degree is refreshing to see and should be emulated by all. Tolerance and cooperation are the ultimate key to social success. Do you get worn out more by flying or doing surgery, or by seeing the misery that the coro- navirus pandemic has caused? Physical exhaustion is present both in medicine and aviation and the psychological burden of the human devastation is felt from both in the air and on the ground, but what is most uplifting is the wonderful nature of humankind where suffering brings all nations and peoples together to reach a common goal. Such global human cooperation seen during these Covid times is unprecedented in the history of humankind since the Industrial Revolution. Dr. Vijay, I hate to ask you this. Yet, I think it’s important for people to understand what you go through. Do you feel safer on land or in the sky? Why? Flying frequently to different parts of the world afflicted with dif- ferent strains of the coronavirus at different stages of peaking or working in close quarters at the hospital in one area of a city pose different kinds of threat and risk, I can confidently say that I feel equally safe in these endeavors due to strict adherence to and compliance with the recommend- ed policies and procedures, com- bined with frequent testing and accepting individual responsibility. In a city like New York which has faced one of the worst out- breaks of the pandemic, what was it like for you personally to be in the medical profession, especially during the peak of the pandemic when it seemed local hospitals were over- whelmed by victims? True, no city or its people and professionals have been put to test like in New York City. During mid March to early April when Covid symptomatology appeared in the emergency rooms, there was a stage of con- fusion as to what exactly to do. Guidelines were still being devel- oped, so a lot of the patients were admitted to hospitals, thus using up valuable resources such as ventilators and ICU beds. Then in mid-April came the Dr. Venkataramana Vijay, in 1998, with a mentor, Dr Denton Cooley, a world famous pioneer surgeon, who performed the first implantation of a total artificial heart. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Vijay