Story of Vishal (age 21)
Vishal is a migrant from India, living in Tbilisi, Georgia
Vishal is studying to become a cardiologist. He graduated from high school in India and came to Tbilisi, Georgia in 2019. He started his studies in English at the Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU) and is currently the head of students’ self-governance body at the TSMU. He believes that coming to Georgia was a right decision – he likes the lifestyle, the country, and the nature. He enjoys nightlife in Tbilisi as well. In addition to being an active and successful student, Vishal is involved in Bollywood filming in Georgia – the job, which he found upon arrival, thanks to his friend from India. Vishal is a line producer for Indian movies and promotes Georgia as a filming destination for Bollywood films.
Although his life is currently proceeding at a much slower pace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vishal is keeping himself busy – he is using Georgia’s response to COVID-19 for his thesis on “Impact of Coronavirus on Social Community and Health”, which he plans to present during an upcoming medical conference on the impact of COVID-19 on social health. Vishal plans to stay in Georgia during COVID-19. He believes that measures taken by the Georgian Government have been more effective than those, which are observed in his home country. Vishal shares his flat with five other students, but he still feels comfortable in Tbilisi. He thinks that the pandemic forced people to be more considerate when it comes to health and well-being of themselves and the society.
The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis. The threat remains the virus: not people; not migrants, stranded, or displaced persons. The pandemic is borderless; people are affected regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, or status.
Migrants are not inherently more vulnerable to, or at heightened risk of, contracting infectious diseases. Rather, it is the conditions in which they migrate, live, or work that influence or compound health risks, including access to health services.