For any crisis situation, the audience around can be classified into three primary categories: the majority of gossip mongers, yes hard to miss their staring and whispering, followed closely by those who have no solution to the problem but have to be seen as rescuers, and then there is a minuscule minority of the personalities with an actual solution. I adore the last category as they are simply angels sent by god to bridge the gaps whenever required.
In a medical emergency on a Delhi-Mumbai flight last time, when a girl discovered her mom unconscious near the lavatory and raised an alarm for help, I had a familiarization session with all three categories!
By the time Flight attendants started calling out for any doctor on board while unloading the first aid kit, i was in a dilemma and could not decide if I had any medical knowledge which could be of any assistance to the patient whatsoever. I could see all the heads turned around beginning to analyse the situation and formulate some gossip inside. I was also surprised to see a queue of men who got up like gladiators and smiled their way to the patient staring at everyone already staring at the patient. While I was relieved that there were so many doctors on board, I was soon brought back to my senses as soon as these not-really-doctors opened their mouths with their witty and smart-ass comments. I still wonder where did they get their doctorate from. I was wondering if their primary aim was to stop all the oxygen from reaching the patient!
In the midst of all this, nobody had realized that a real doctor had already rushed to the patient and had done what she could do best. While the onlookers were getting agitated for not getting enough attention to their silly remarks, this young lady doctor had taken control of the situation and the poor passenger regained her senses.
A look around the flight showed many fancy faces, curious, tensed, thoughtful, concerned and proud. Proud were those of the onlookers who traveled all the way from 1F to 30D to take a closer look, block the oxygen, block the way for flight attendants and those who could possibly help and give their really unhelpful advice. My favorite were those who suddenly discovered an unusual event on a regular flight and started taking strolls on their imaginary beaches inside the flight.
After regaining consciousness the patient went back to her seat followed by the proud and smiling onlookers. Now was the time for gossip-mongers to start with their own analysis of the whole event.
I kept my eyes on the doctor who displayed utmost sincerity and a resolve to help. Her face displayed relief as she moved to her seat and settled back.