Only a hundred years after the previous major pandemic, the world sees another one that is affecting almost everyone. After world war 1, the Spanish flu infected about one-third of the world population and caused millions of casualties. It lasted for 15 months in which millions died, which made it one of the deadliest pandemics the humans have ever known. Such viruses usually transfer from the animals to humans, and there are thousands, if not millions, such diseases carried by all species of animals. The prevalence of these viruses among animals means that we can expect a pandemic at any time. In November last year, a famous documentary series on Netflix while interviewing Bill Gates was about the possibility of a future pandemic. Little did they know that the option they were talking about was just about to wreak havoc in millions of people’s lives. This new pandemic is the COVID19, as we know it today, and it would not be an exaggeration if we say it has brought the world to a virtual halt.
The biggest question that now faces the world is how to cope with this pandemic. The only way to get rid of it will be a vaccine that creates the necessary antibodies in our body, but until then, we can still do some things to get some relief. The precautionary measures recommended by doctors are one thing, but some people also opt for specified disease insurance to get a financial cover. In case of an eventuality, you will require all the help you can get, and such ideas could be your last straw of hope. We must also understand how the world will emerge once the pandemic is over. In this article, we will talk about all such matters, so keep reading.
Since the disease came out, our frontline healthcare workers have been the first line of defense against this deadly virus. Taking care of the doctors, nurses, hospital administrations, and anyone even remotely involved with the virus should be everyone’s priority. Personal protective gear should be necessarily provided, including protective coats, gloves, and masks. The medical staff also require the N95 mask compared to the regular ones to protect themselves from the more significant viral load of viruses they are exposed to. The hospitals must also monitor the health of the healthcare workers and look out for any signs of contraction of the virus. Regular testing and temperature check can ensure that the healthcare workers stay on their feet in this fight against the deadly pandemic.
Patient Service Delivery
We must realize that COVID19 is something novel, and the researchers still do not have complete information about this virus. It is the responsibility of all the stakeholders like the government and hospitals to provide health workers with studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) about the clinical management of COVID19 patients. Patients usually have multiple symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, anorexia (reduced appetite), and shortness of breath among a few other less common ones. Doctors should focus more on controlling symptoms such as fever and cough through medication to avoid the patients from getting complications. The health of patients with underlying conditions such as diabetes is more prone to worsening, so they would need additional care.
Information for the people
As much as healthcare professionals deserve to get the necessary information about the treatment of the patients, the people also need to know precautionary measures. Though there is no cure for COVID19, doctors recommend keeping your immune system healthy to get a better ability to fight the virus. If you ever contract the virus, nutritious food, vitamin supplements, and herbs could come to your rescue. It would be best if you took the advice of your doctor before consuming any supplement as it can interact with other medicines. Furthermore, people must also keep a check on their temperature and oxygen saturation level during self-quarantine. In this regard, having a thermometer and pulse oximeter at home is mandatory for your health awareness. Governments must ensure that such information reaches the people through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc., where the data can become more accessible to people. Many countries do not have the widescale provision of the internet, and in such cases, television and radio channels can come handy.
As many people do not have access to doctors due to their busy schedules or other reasons, we could leverage technology to help us. Much like any other technological usage, we can create platforms where healthcare professionals can get in touch with the public through video lectures or private appointments. People could give realtime updates about their symptoms to their doctors and get advice about medicines and diet. Talking to doctors is also stress-releasing in such times, and will keep you from over-thinking. Since visiting hospitals can expose you to infections, including COVID19, telehealth is a safer option.
Humans are social animals, and they need to interact with others to live a happy life. In the time of the pandemic when everyone advises you to stay at home, alone, it can easily affect people’s mental health. Many people need socialization events to distract them from the things that bother them, and this pandemic has deprived them of such opportunities. Attaining information about how to react if you get sick can alleviate your stress levels. Talk to your friends regularly over the phone to avoid the emotional toll of social distancing. Moreover, distraction is the key, so you could find new hobbies such as reading a book and watching a movie or a Netflix series.
The way forward
Though it seems quite a distant dream right now, we can expect that the pandemic will be over at some point. Many scientists are burning the midnight oil to ensure a vaccine comes out sooner than later. Once everything is behind us, we can focus on the things that will help us avoid future pandemics, or at least make us better equipped to fight one. To avoid such problems in the future, we could push the governments to allocate more funding to research that studies the presence of such viruses in animals. Moreover, we can also stress the governments to invest more in the healthcare sector and medical research, so dealing with such eventualities becomes easier.
We are facing unprecedented times, at least in our lifetimes, while facing a deadly pandemic. What we do in these times defines who we are as an individual and as a society. This virus is the most significant manifestation of the fact that prevention is better than cure, and hence we should follow precautionary measures. We must also protect our frontline healthcare workers by providing them with the necessary equipment and knowledge. Keeping yourself updated with the information will apprise you about the healthy practices to avoid contraction or complications of the virus. In the future, we can avoid such circumstances by prioritizing medical research and providing affordable healthcare facilities to the masses.
Dr. Campitelli is a podiatrist in Akron, OH specializing in foot and ankle surgery with an interest and enthusiasm for running as well as helping runners with injuries. For the past several years he has been treating running injuries in patients by fixing their form and transitioning them to minimalist shoes. Having treated runners with all types of injuries through conservative measures with orthotics and shoe gear changes to reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Campitelli has brought what works best and is most current to his practice as well as the Akron and Cleveland running communities.