The pandemic has not only shaken the healthcare sector but altered the entire landscape of the present time. Among unparalleled physical challenges, deteriorating psychological health has been an equally troubling issue. In addition, the emergence of Covid-19 has demanded efforts to deal with several health-related threats.
However, the pages of history would also preserve remarkable tales of bravery, resilience, and selflessness. The collective response of individuals, organisations, and governments has been an effective weapon against the pandemic. Most importantly, medical professionals have boldly carried out critical responsibilities; the medics have tirelessly secured unwavering positions at the frontline. The following passages further discuss the challenges presented by the pandemic and how people fought them.
Handling frontline exposure
During the pandemic, humanity was engaged in tedious efforts on the battlefield to normalize a deteriorating situation. Undeniably, everyone has participated to win over the deadly virus and related consequences. Most importantly, healthcare professionals battled extensive pressure since the occurrence of the outbreak. The healthcare staff has been at the frontline to defeat the contagious virus and manage the prevailing challenges in the healthcare sector. Specially, the nursing staff has boldly fulfilled several responsibilities at the forefront of the crises. To acknowledge their courageous endeavors, the world recently commemorated that the nurse leader role is crucial to managing any healthcare emergency.
Though exhausted, the entire healthcare staff still selflessly labored to ensure public health while sacrificing their own. It was not uncommon to witness a medic’s worsening physical and psychological well-being due to the tremendous amount of burden in their routine.
Highlighting gender-based inconsistencies
The COVID-19 emergency brought disproportionate access to healthcare services. Specifically, certain groups are more prone to negative consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and other health-related risks. For example, females are experiencing limited freedom to avail of family planning amenities. Furthermore, constrained outdoor activities, occupation-related disruptions, and unstable economic conditions have increased violence against females by their intimate partners. Hence, women are not only dealing with the contagious virus but manifold day-to-day challenges. As a result, pandemic-induced inequalities have not only undermined their physical but also mental well-being.
To deal with immediate viral exposure, people, specifically women carrying out caregiving duties at home, had to practice extensive protective measures while nursing quarantined patients and carrying out outdoor activities. The options of telemedicine and remote consultation surfaced as a savior for urgent healthcare problems.
To ameliorate the impact of economic instability and domestic violence, women have ventured into entrepreneurship and virtual work. The adapted strategy has empowered them and improved their economic independence. However, long-term comprehensive policies are required to combat these issues. Additionally, it is crucial to encourage proportionate access to standard healthcare services for all genders.
Emphasis on COVID-19 interrupted access to healthcare facilities
Irrespective of the demographic, socio-economic, and geographic differences, the COVID-19 virus has proved to be lethal for the whole world. Thus, the ongoing fight against the pandemic has diverted much-needed attention from critical wellbeing-related dangers. Studies suggest that current demands related to the COVID-19 have hindered treatment efforts against other infections like malaria and tuberculosis. The World Health Organization reported that the endeavor has also disturbed immunization drive against other diseases, such as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Experts are fearful that the consequences may undermine achievement against chronic diseases.
As a result, the global healthcare system has encountered a tremendous amount of pressure. To minimize the impact of the pandemic-induced disruptions, governments are funding the designated global initiatives. The effort is intended to augment and boost treatment measures for existing communicable and chronic diseases. As a result, evidence shows that the outcome is positive for countries that have executed adaptive measures.
Underlying consequences of the fragmented coordination
No one would have imagined that a mere viral infection would demand extraordinary participation and coordination on a global scale. To control immediate danger, countries adopted strict measures, including restricted travel, closing borders, etc. However, it was undeniably demanding to ensure unrestrained implementation and acceptance of such measures. Unstable coordination on social distancing and lack of global collaboration for vaccine development were a few of the loopholes. As a consequence, the healthcare system encountered even more challenges. The countries that failed to implement a well-coordinated framework were exposed to the severity of the healthcare crisis. Hence, efforts against the mutual fight could not yield prompt and remarkable outcomes. The current fight has demonstrated that improving collaboration and participation is crucial to managing a public emergency, and if the situation is any better today, it is partly due to people finally being aware of the importance of coordinating with these rules.
Addressing narrow outlook to inclusive healthcare provision
Evidently, the compromised health of a single person has the potential to endanger the health of others around them. Loopholes in the delivery and access to healthcare services have unleashed several challenges of global magnitude. Therefore, addressing inequalities in the provision of healthcare facilities is even more crucial at present. To effectively deal with the healthcare threats, the countries had to categorise healthcare problems and sketch viable solutions. For instance, governments prioritized the provision of healthcare services. The individuals with compromised health, old age, and unstable economy received priority.
In contrast, politicisation and the exercise of a narrow attitude towards the emergency further worsened the situation in other states. Interruptions in the healthcare services and manufacturing of effective vaccines allowed rapid mutation of the virus. Owing to incomprehensive and delayed access to healthcare facilities, the world has witnessed the emergence of various problems in developing and under-developing countries. If healthcare services lack inclusivity, fighting healthcare threats can be difficult.
The number of healthcare threats rising due to the COVID-19 outbreak has been alarming. Apart from the direct pressure on the healthcare sector, the outbreak has undermined commercial, academic, travel, and other socio-economic activities as well. The prolonged fight against the contagious virus has proved that only saving lives inside a healthcare facility is not enough. To manage such emergencies, it is fundamental to pay attention to all the aspects with equity so that they don’t become bigger obstacles later on.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.