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Lessons We Have Learned From The Covid-19 Crisis

Lessons We Have Learned From The Covid-19 Crisis
鎴戜滑鑳戒粠鏂板啝鑲虹値鐤儏涓鍒颁粈涔
By Nina Mitchell

TP 202007 1500 201. STICK TO THE BASIC PRINCIPLES AND THEN IMPROVE ON THEM

 

The basic principles of containing the spread of COVID-19 include extensive testing, washing hands, using masks, and social distancing. But we must not stop there. It is important to improve on these principles and use the most effective methods as the crisis continues and changes.

 

For example, quarantine and self-isolation have become a priority in most places, along with complete lockdowns, in an attempt to stop community spread of the COVID-19.

 

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02. GOVERNMENTS NEED TO MAINTAIN PUBLIC TRUST

A station staff member wears protective gear as he checks the ID and health status of travellers before they enter the Beijing South Railway StationA station staff member wears protective gear as he checks the ID and health status of travellers before they enter the Beijing South Railway Station

 

Governments need to be honest with their people. This is something that is seriously lacking in the current political climate. If the public loses its faith in the government, there is nothing left. If the leaders wish to lead properly, then they will have to provide better aid, research facilities, financial backup, and above all, they will have to maintain transparency.

 

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03. TRANSPARENCY IS VITAL

tp cover 05COVID-19 was first reported to the WHO Office in China on 31 December 2019; yet weeks earlier, healthcare professionals had warned Chinese authorities that a SARS-like illness was spreading amongst patients. Instead of notifying those higher in the system, Wuhan authorities silenced physician Dr Li Wenliang on a charge of spreading false rumours after he reported a novel illness in his patients in early December. At age 34, Dr Li passed away in February 2020 from COVID-19 infection. This tragedy highlights the critical importance of honesty and transparency.

 

If action had been taken even a few days earlier, the subsequent spread of the virus could have been limited dramatically. However, fears of economic and political repercussions silenced officials who could have sounded alarms, and the virus was able to spread exponentially.

 

Many other countries have also struggled to communicate the epidemiology of this new infection, sometimes reflecting the challenges of ensuring consistent and coherent messaging in a fast moving situation. Blatantly misleading comments by political leaders and the media In Brazil and the United States have serious consequences. President Trump鈥檚 praise for hydroxychloroquine, despite an absence of evidence of effectiveness in COVID-19, meant that people who did need it, such as those with lupus, have faced shortages. A lack of transparency around the United Kingdom鈥檚 scientific advisory mechanism has undermined trust.

 

04. SUCCESSFUL RESPONSES HINGE ON DECISIVE LEADERSHIP

tp cover 07Recognising its initial response errors, China showed leadership in tackling the COVID-19 epidemic within its borders by implementing stringent measures. Through a combination of widespread testing and contact-tracing, legally enforced physical (social) distancing measures, and use of modern technologies such as automated robot cleaners and facial recognition for contact-mapping, China has successfully slowed the spread to a halt: on 19 March 2020 鈥 for the first time since the outbreak began in 2019 鈥 China reported no locally-transmitted incident cases of COVID-19.

 

Other countries, such as South Korea, have followed suit and have also been relatively successful in controlling spread. Heads of government in countries such as New Zealand, Germany, Finland, and Iceland have attracted praise for their decisive action and ability to communicate the rationale for their policies. They are all women.

 

05. SURVEILLANCE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY CAN BE USED BUT NOT ABUSED

tp cover 08Digital surveillance has been used in many areas. Drones have been used to check whether social distancing is being maintained and rules are being followed. However, people are worried that these will continue to be in effect after the crisis is over, and that freedoms will be compromised.

 

If governments begin to abuse these technologies in the name of protection, there will be trouble. Therefore, surveillance should be done without invading the privacy of the citizens.

 

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06. HUMAN CONNECTION IS IMPORTANT AT ALL TIMES

 

During this pandemic, social distancing has become the rule. However, we cannot lose our emotional connections and solidarities. Human connection is extremely important, and it is what gets us through the trying times.

 

07. IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTAINMENT MEASURES NEEDS TO BE FAST

 

The containment measures that will work have been determined, but they need to be implemented quickly; otherwise, the spread of the virus cannot be stopped. The response to any potential carrier or active case has to be rapid. Failure to do that can create extremely unsafe situations for those who are not infected.

 

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08. PERSONAL HYGIENE HAS TO BE MAINTAINED AT ALL TIMES

 

Hands should be washed frequently, even after the COVID-19 crisis ends. The escalation of the pandemic situation happened especially due to poor hygiene routines. That cannot happen again. Masks should be worn in densely populated areas or similar public spaces. A clean environment and maintenance of proper hygienic conditions will prevent most illnesses.

 

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09. DOCTORS, NURSES, AND OTHER MEDICAL STAFF NEED PROPER PAY

 

The doctors, nurses, and all those providing medical assistance and aid have been real heroes. However, most of these people are underpaid and overworked. We need the services of these people, and they have to be compensated. Proper pay, along with all other necessities, should not be denied.

 

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10. EMERGENCY FUNDS AND HEALTH INSURANCE IS NECESSARY FOR ALL

Every individual who can save money should keep some for sudden emergencies. Aside from this, governments should ensure that every person has health insurance. Emergency funds should be created and used whenever required. If this is not done in the future, then the majority of people will not be able to afford necessities and healthcare.

 

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11. PROPER SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SHOULD ALWAYS BE CONSIDERED AND NOT DENIED

 

Many world leaders have denied the scientific developments regarding this coronavirus, and have not paid attention to scientists and researchers. The COVID-19 pandemic proves that this cannot go on. These people know best when it comes to this kind of crisis, and they will be able to come up with proper preventive measures.

 

12. EFFORTS TO DEVELOP COVID-19 VACCINES AND TREATMENTS IS GOOD BUT NOT ENOUGH

 

Countries and individuals around the globe are working to develop and manufacture vaccines and treatments for coronavirus in an unprecedented way. Across government, private and philanthropic donor spend, billions of dollars are being put towards efforts to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The global approach towards how we develop and test these vaccines needs to shift. We believe the quickest path to successful development will entail well-organised, mid- to large-size clinical trials rather than the rushed, small clinical trials that have failed to deliver so far.

 

Furthermore, once a vaccine is developed, the success of any COVID-19 exit strategy will depend on the distribution of this technology quickly to those most in need. We hope that governments jointly purchase the patent rights to these developments which would simultaneously reward developers for their innovation, investment, and efforts, while also allowing countries to rapidly manufacture and equitably distribute the vaccines to all those in need in their populations.

 

13. SOCIAL DISTANCING AND ISOLATION MIGHT BECOME THE NEW NORMAL

 

Isolation is not easy, but a certain degree of it might become the norm. Therefore, we need to get used to that. It is important to practice some form of social distancing and be as self-sustainable as possible. This might help us to avoid contamination and therefore contain the spread of similar viruses.

 

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14. MAKING THE MOST OUT OF THE SITUATION AND FIND NEW SOURCES OF MOTIVATIONS

 

Sometimes, being forced to stay at home, with nothing but your thoughts and a lot of time, we tend to explore more about ourselves and set specific goals that we would never have been able to do beforehand.

 

Staying motivated has been one of our main challenges during this period. Without our peers, and work/school routine, staying motivated is a sport. It is very easy to spiral down during tough times, so we had to learn how to stay motivated and find new sources of motivation to stay healthy and happy.

 

15. SHARING IS CARING

 

Through tough times, we are all responsible for helping make our world a better place, from small things such as volunteering for your local charities or baking for your neighbors. Your kind actions will be the solution to a quick recovery and a better tomorrow.

 

CONCLUSION

 

COVID-19 has become a pandemic with close to ten million cases and over 500,000 deaths as a result of the virus, the case for investing in health systems, human resources, and health technologies is clear.

This pandemic highlights the need to have adequate health system capacity to address and tackle a crisis. We must continue to build upon the lessons learned so far from the management of COVID-19 and adjust our approaches to this pandemic, and to other future health and environmental crises, accordingly.

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