What Has the Pandemic Taught Us
About Health Consciousness
They say that people learn the most valuable lessons the hard way. We also learned great lessons but at the cost of millions of lives. More than a year has passed since the world entered this century’s deadliest pandemic, which claimed millions of lives worldwide. We lost a great deal more than just lives to this pandemic. Before COVID-19, nobody imagined that our healthcare systems were so fragile and that we were so unprepared for a pandemic outbreak. People were not ready to believe that their lives will never be the same again or that the pandemic is real.
It took months for people to accept that the coronavirus is not a political agenda but a real and deadly virus. We learned the consequences of underinvestment in healthcare after so many unnecessary deaths. But we also learned about the importance of health consciousness and how it affects us as a community. You can take a look at the following ways we learned about health consciousness during the pandemic.
1. Importance of Health Awareness and Promotion
One of the reasons the world could not contain the coronavirus spread was the lack of public health awareness. The general public was unable to grasp the reality that they are going to face an outbreak situation. The burning question is why is health promotion important, and how does it help in containing a healthcare crisis? The most significant advantage of public health awareness and promotion is that it helps in reducing the intensity of the spreading rate. When the general public is aware of health consciousness, it is easier to help them understand the essential preventive measures. Support and corporation from the public is the key to combating this pandemic situation. We learned this after millions of people worldwide face the inevitable.
2. Work-From-Home is the New Normal
Most of us never had to experience isolation or being quarantined until the pandemic forced everyone into a lockdown. Not only were we disconnected from our loved ones, but we couldn’t also go back to the office. Companies and organizations were forced to introduce the work from home policies for almost 50% to 80% of the staff. Miraculously, working from home turned out to be a success for many companies and professions and benefited organizations in several ways. It paves the way for the idea that long working hours or frequent office calls aren’t compulsory and that many of us can work efficiently from the comfort of our homes. Industries became aware of health consciousness and how the employees’ health should be their priority. Even after one and a half years of living in a lockdown situation, companies have found a way to make it work by allowing half of their staff to work from home.
3. Infliction on Mental Health
One of the most critical themes during Covid-19 has been mental health awareness. Countless people have lost their loved ones, their jobs, and much more because of the outbreak. It left many people vulnerable to serious mental health issues. Social isolation, looking after kids and working simultaneously, lockdowns, and travel restrictions left many people extremely exhausted and emotionally drained. The pandemic taught us that mental health is just more than the presence or absence of a mental illness.
We learned that our minds and mental well-being matter as much as our physical health. The pandemic also demonstrated that the most vulnerable to mental health problems in our society are the healthcare workers. Working in extreme conditions, being subjected to public violence, being exposed to infection, and long working hours have tested the will of frontline workers. The lack of investments in the public health sector and support from the public has been an eye-opener regarding the mental well-being of health workers.
4. Putting Health and Research First
The lack of preparedness, health research, and investment in healthcare has left world authorities to rethink their priorities. It was challenging to comprehend that there were loopholes and shortcomings in the healthcare systems of countries. The straining of the healthcare industry during the pandemic showed us the consequences of ignoring research in public health and limiting the resources of healthcare emergency departments. What did we achieve by investing in weapons and wars instead of hospitals? Our community and governments need to sit down and reevaluate what’s important and why we were unprepared. We have to stop relying on short-term protective measures and planning for long-term emergencies and healthcare diseases circumstances. We must empower our frontline workers and ensure full financial and moral support to their efforts.
Diseases do not know borders, and it does not discriminate. The recent pandemic put a halt to our everyday lives instantly, and we were left thinking about where we went wrong. While we were unprepared to tackle an outbreak on many levels, we still learned some valuable lessons. Governments must reevaluate their strategies regarding empowering healthcare facilities and how the public should be educated about health consciousness and public health awareness.
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