In December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 began in China and the world health organization declared it as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020. India has reported the first case of COVID-19 on January 30, 2020. During this pandemic, there was sustained stress created on the modern healthcare system. It caused unforeseen and potential drastic effects on the healthcare industry. This outbreak is mainly caused due to delaying in detection and response in countries like China, as well as other major countries, this led to overburdening of the healthcare systems. Whereas some other countries have put in place effective strategies to control the infection rate, they have recorded a low number of cases in the earlier phase of pandemics. It had revealed that restrictive measures like social distancing, lockdown, virus detection, isolating, and quarantine are the most effective actions to control the spreading of the virus.
EPIDEMIOLOGY OF COVID-19
Coronaviruses are viruses that are common in humans and other species of animals. These human coronaviruses commonly cause upper respiratory tract infections like a common cold. However, some variants of these groups of viruses also cause mild influenza-like symptoms. In mid-1960s, the first human coronaviruses were identified; alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ), and delta (δ) are four genres in coronaviruses. The usual symptoms are associated with these coronaviruses are similar to that of the common cold, which may be accompanied by mild to moderate upper respiratory tract infection. The mortality for COVID-19 is found to be higher than that for seasonal influenza. SARS-CoV-2 mainly targets the respiratory system, and transmission occurs through contact droplets and fomites from a person who already has infection may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. The virus triggers a slow response in the lungs during the incubation period. This SARS-CoV-2 particularly invades alveolar epithelial cells that result in causing respiratory symptoms. For effective response and prevention of the further spread of COVID-19, the rapid and accurate detection of COVID-19 has become vital. Currently, symptomatic treatment and current clinical management include prevention of infection. Presently, available therapeutic medications include antiviral agents and supporting agents like vitamin C, azithromycin, IL-6 antagonists, corticosteroids. Many vaccines are developed and approved for the prevention of COVID-19. The second wave earlier in this year was ferocious. This pandemic is not only a global crisis of health, but it is also a catalyst for reimagining how we are going to live in the future. Below are a few lessons or points that are needed to be taken into account if we are to survive and thrive in the crises in the future:
Maintaining line of sight in the hospital
During the pandemic, strategies such as keeping windows in the walls, replacing wood doors with glass doors, and placing video devices in the hospital rooms. Video monitoring in the hospital may help in preventing falls, also alerts nurses or caregivers that the patient is getting from the bed.
Preparing for unexpected rise in demand for healthcare services
The majority of the hospitals will run on tight business margins with complex methods to meet the available beds. An unanticipated pandemic or natural disaster can foresee a crisis until a hospital can expand its capacity of beds and other services. Hospitals should improve relationships with other regional centre specialists, where they can use video monitoring to train generalists in ICU care. This helps in routine situations when a patient with complicated care needs presents.
Air filters in the hospitals
There is a potential for transmission of airborne disease through the air. Hospitals should put more effort to increase the quality of the air in the hospital, which includes common waiting rooms. Additional methods of minimizing potential transmission of COVID-19, such as installation of high-efficiency particulate air filters. Recent studies have found that improved ventilation coupled with UV light sterilization is a more reliable preventive measure than respiratory protective equipment. The portable air filtration systems are capable of combining high-efficiency particulate filtration and UV light sterilization may be a possible solution for warding off respiratory infection of SARS-CoV-2
Supporting emotionally to health care professional
Frontline health care workers who struggled during the pandemic were labelled heroes for their efforts. Although the culture of service is a definite quality of health care workers, it can obscure the human needs for support, leading to burnout and misplaced emotions. Providing stress management and resilience training, peer support, and easy-to-access mental health resources to the healthcare workers is important.
Wearing a mask
Continue to wear masks everywhere when you are outside or in the hospital even if COVID-19 disappears (an unlikely possibility). Recent data suggest that the combination of wearing a mask and social distancing can decrease the percentage of outpatient visits for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 can likely spread through respiratory droplets but can also be airborne, and this raises the question of whether it is appropriate to have multioccupancy beds in a hospital. The virus can cause COVID-19 and spread even before symptoms develop by coughing, sneezing, or even having conversations at close range. One should wash hands for at least 20 seconds before and after wearing a mask. You may feel uncomfortable at first while putting on the mask for the first time, so it is necessary to adjust the mask to make sure it fits correctly over the nose, mouth, and chin and allows for easy breathing and speaking
Technology adaptability to connect families
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients were unable to communicate with their families. An unforeseen benefit was that patients used their phones to communicate with friends and family. A video calling option for relatives in hospital care should continue post-pandemic
Telehealth worked well for certain appointments during this pandemic. This pandemic introduced a new tool for remote patient visits. Many doctors encouraged their patients to monitor their blood pressure and other parameters from home. In addition, Telemedicine can help to manage chronic diseases or other non-virus-related problems without keeping patients at risk. These benefits were widely recognized and made numerous changes to support the use of telemedicine
The powerful tool ‘vaccines’
Vaccines are powerful in preventing disease. This pandemic will motivate people to keep up with all of their vaccines up to date. Millions of lives are saved each year by vaccination. After the vaccination, if our body is exposed to disease-causing germs, the body gets the power to immediately destroy the germs, thereby preventing illness. Now, there are several safe and effective vaccines developed for COVID-19, which can prevent people from dying from COVID-19 or preventing serious illness. This is only one part of controlling COVID-19, in addition to the main preventive measures of maintaining at least 1 meter distance from others, covering a cough or sneeze with the elbow, frequently washing hands, wearing a mask, and avoiding poorly ventilated rooms
Role of media and public awareness
Media plays an important role in circulating information, influencing public behaviour. Controlling rumours and misinformation is much required. Social media is a source of such propagation, can take significant measures to overcome them in a timely way. There must be ways devised to listen and correct the wrong information. Governmental public health interventions, public awareness on minimizing the virus from spreading is the key mechanism to control the spread of the virus. Myths and fake news have cost lives. A lot of misinformation spreading on social media. We should encourage social media influencers to help spread the facts about the pandemic
We have lost many people due to COVID-19 disease, now by learning the mistakes from the experience could benefit all the people. All above are a few points and lessons that we have learned from the pandemic that can improve hospital care in both day-to-day circumstances and future crises. This pandemic demonstrated to us the value of freedom. It also showed us the importance of understanding the true meaning of businesses, political parties and governments, and all our other systems: namely, to serve human requirements and purposes. These are the lessons that we should take into account after the Covid-19. It is time to re-evaluate the proper goal of business; the goal of our economic activities; and the goal of our local, national, and international governance structures. The pandemic shows us that the goals of all these fields should always be the same: contributing to the fulfilment of people’s needs and purposes. This requires us to support locally when we face local issues, nationally when we face national issues, and globally when we face global issues.
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