History holds evidence for various healthcare challenges. Yet, no one imagined a mere virus would engulf the world in darkness and despair on such a massive scale. The pandemic was not only a catastrophe for the healthcare sector. It has also triggered necessary thought-processing for reforms in socio-economic and political structures and healthcare awareness. For instance, many would quote Covid-19 as a political agenda and hoax even when thousands were counting their last breaths. People would not cooperate and follow safety protocols. But negligence and non-cooperation cost everyone heavy blows later on. Carelessness led to the loss of countless precious lives, economic loss, global uncertainty, and a record increase in psychological issues and poverty.
The pandemic has also shaken control of other healthcare challenges, including non-infectious diseases. And it would take years to compensate for the damages. However, every misfortune offers something to ponder over. And that is true with the pandemic as well. Sometimes, learning comes the hard way, but long-term results matter more than the immediate damage. And now, people are more equipped and prepared to prevent such challenges head-on.
The following sections discuss some positive triggers and outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Innovations and transformations in the healthcare sector
The pandemic has revolutionized almost every sector with digital transformation. But the integration of technology in healthcare activities is unprecedented. Sophisticated gadgets, tools, and digital platforms have invaded the healthcare sector for the better. For instance, digital connectivity was the safest means to keep healthcare services functional amid safety restrictions.
Innovations have also transformed healthcare procedures with faster and more accurate outcomes. For example, an epidemiologist does not need to interact with dangerous pathogens and perform risky experiments in a lab right away. They can evaluate the pros and cons of experimenting on live pathogens with software programs. Once computer models show positive outcomes, they can proceed with actual experiments in the laboratory.
The intermediary intervention of technology offers more promising results in a short time and with lower experiment costs. That’s how scientists have developed several antidote vaccines for the Covid-19 virus in a record-breaking time.
2. New means for employment and income generation
Where the pandemic has bankrupted countless businesses and skyrocketed unemployment, it has also triggered human cognitive power to think beyond closed boundaries and limited options. A slowdown of economic activities and the unemployment blows of the lockdown days were crippling for almost every working professional. They could not afford their basic requirements when businesses started shutting down. Surprisingly, the internet and digital connectivity surfaced as their saviors at times of despair. People started using their social media handles and digital accounts for marketing purposes.
Many have even transformed their private accounts from mere interpersonal connectivity to a source of employment. They are no longer dependent upon their 9–5 jobs and limited income. As long as they continue to feed their followers with relevant and innovative content, they no longer need to listen to nagging from their bosses and employers.
3. Rehabilitation of the environment
Scientists have been ringing alarms regarding global warming and its consequences for the ecosystem and environment long before the pandemic. They lament that the world is already facing extreme and abrupt weather conditions due to rising temperatures. Thousands of species have disappeared while pathogens have become resistant due to irresponsible human intervention in wildlife habitats. They also warn that needless meddling in wildlife space is also one of the causes of zoonotic transmission of viral infections. However, stakeholders fail to pay much attention.
Fortunately, the pandemic has somehow delayed the uncontrollable cycle of environmental damage. Repeated lockdowns and movement restrictions have minimized greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and industrial activities. Movement restrictions have also sparred some time for the natural world and wildlife to recover and revive. Now, scientists believe that the delay is an opportunity window for stakeholders to ponder over and execute corrective measures. Otherwise, many more pandemics of a similar scale and devastation wait in the future.
4. Better preparedness for future catastrophes
Challenges and emergencies do not emerge with clear signs. You do not have enough time to brace yourself right away and face them head-on. But preparedness can minimize damages to a great extent. Since no one imagined a virus would lead to a global catastrophe, the world lost so much in an unprepared battle against the emergency. Thus, the entire healthcare system is undergoing an overhaul to normalize functions and prepare for the future.
Over two years of fight against pandemic-related challenges have improved healthcare awareness. The healthcare sector is training its workforce with better skills and resilience to withstand work pressure and unexpected crisis. Policy-makers, governments, and other stakeholders are also endeavoring for refinement in healthcare to ensure uninterrupted delivery with better healthcare policies, higher investment, and early detection of future catastrophes. Healthcare experts also have more opportunities and support from investors to accelerate research efforts for innovative treatment alternatives and quality care.
5. Better administration of workload in the healthcare sector
The pandemic was the most exhausting challenge for the entire healthcare workforce. It was an unprecedented emergency, and no one was ready to manage it face-to-face. And unpreparedness has cost everyone dearly. For instance, healthcare workers had to choose between their personal and professional obligations while fighting at the frontline. Eventually, they suffered from behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues while overworking for the past two years to normalize the functions of the healthcare system. And coming days also do not have much relaxation for them.
However, they have already surpassed their limited flexibility. Research studies also highlight the alarming status of well-being challenges in healthcare workers, such as sleep irregularity, anxiety, and depression. In response, they are enjoying better advocacy and assistance with better administration policies. Hospitals are also extending their capacity with recruitments and training of incumbents to share the healthcare workload.
6. Attention toward inclusive and affordable care
Sometimes, illnesses do not have a confined impact on specific hosts. Overwhelming influence is evident with infectious diseases like the Covid-19, where one’s healthcare condition can compromise the well-being of others. In such circumstances, proximity to hospitals, socio-economic status, affordability, or privilege cannot shield anyone. As a result, decision-makers are now focusing on inclusivity and affordability in healthcare services. New policies ensure that everyone should have equitable access to facilities regardless of their pocket strength or locality. Stakeholders must rely on telemedicine and virtual consultation services to accommodate the increasing burden on healthcare facilities.
In addition, assurance of access to quality healthcare services is a political manifesto of present times. The public also knows how their contribution and involvement can transform outcomes. They are more aware of their hygiene and well-being and attend to safety guidelines from concerned authorities. Hence, they push governments for positive reforms in healthcare services.
No one can rewind time and repair the damage of the Covid-19 pandemic. But challenges of the viral emergency have also triggered much-awaited reformations in the healthcare sector and elsewhere. It has redefined social and individual responsibilities for better coordination to ensure everyone’s welfare. Losses of the pandemic also highlight how catastrophes have borderless influence across the globe. In short, it has started a chain of positive change in the world.