PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – More disturbing news out of India Tuesday, May 11 about the surge in COVID-19 cases and the discovery of dozens of bodies floating in the Ganges River.
It’s causing sleepless nights among North Texas large and growing Indian American population.
When his parents visited him in Plano early last year, Niranjin Lax gave thought to the possibility then that it could be the last time he would ever seen them.
“That fear is always there in you,” said Lax. “I get sleepless nights because of that, but I believe in the Almighty.”
Those sleepless nights begin in March, when a surge in COVID-19 cases began sweeping across India, where Lax’s 72-year-old father and 66-year-old mother live.
Their son said the state they live in seeing 50,000 cases a day and he’s more than worried about his mom and dad.
“On a level of 1 to 10, 10 because they are old my father has hypertension and my mother is asthmatic,” said Lax. “Both are higher risk to get COVID. If they get COVID, I don’t know what I’ll do.”
Lax has been spending a lot of his time now not only keeping in touch with his parents by phone, but also ordering them oximeters, oxygen concentrators and trying to buy Remdesivir and other drugs used to treat COVID as a precaution.
“There is a shortage of all this medical equipment and there is no one central agency to track this effort,” he said.
The anguish Lax is experiencing is felt by as many as a half million other Indian Americans living in Texas who also have loved ones in peril half a world away.
“Everybody has family back home there and most of them have parents that are in their 70s and 80s so they are all concerned,” he said.
Lax said his sister’s father-in-law died of COVID last week.
So far, his parents are healthy and isolated at home.
Like so many others here in North Texas, this Plano husband and father can only wish he could do more.
“Very painful and you feel very helpless because you’re here and you’re vaccinated,” he said.