The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light how quickly life can change. The impacts on daily living are widespread and continue to develop from day today. In June 2020, we are seeing the effect of the virus on global economies, healthcare management, and everyone’s daily life. It has radically changed almost everything we do: how we work, exercise, socialize, shop, manage our health, educate our kids, and take care of family members.
Healthcare Workers and Services
The effects on healthcare are mixed. The unprecedented climb of illness and death cannot be ignored, and set off a chain of stay at home orders around the world. While intensive care units are facing being overrun with urgent care workers scheduled to the max and beyond, other non-essential industries are taking a hit. From gastroenterology to cosmetic dentistry, some medical professionals are discovering the need to pivot. The coronavirus brings increased risk to healthcare staff, short supplies at clinics and hospitals, and a financial strain on those requiring hospitalization, not to mention emotional turmoil in their families.
We are also poised for a revolution in the delivery of healthcare. A pandemic allows us to pinpoint what’s not working and be a starting point to scale and innovate. Digital technologies will become even more prominent, and we are likely to see a rise in the use of both telemedicine and home testing. A third of the US population already use telemedicine, and now more people will learn to utilize it. The more they use it, the more they will learn to trust the method, allowing for the delivery of faster and cheaper healthcare in the future.
The world is already feeling heavy economic impacts, with businesses shutting their doors and more people applying for unemployment benefits every day. From small businesses to large corporations, nearly all businesses are feeling the effects, and most negatively. Everyone is connected, from wedding photographers all the way to the major airlines.
For companies supplying essential products, business is booming. Support services for those stuck at home, from televisits with counselors to new streaming services, are increasing. Progresso soup and Clorox wipes are flying off the shelves, and Charmin can’t keep up with demand. Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers to keep the supply of goods moving.
Many of us already know the effects that a global shock can have on people’s values and priorities. Whether it is a previous financial crisis or a terrorist attack, we have seen stronger ties formed internationally after working through an event together. It requires pulling together. When people realize what collective action can achieve, it changes how they relate to others, resulting in a greater sense of community.
In the current coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing world leaders sharing information and data. Experienced health personnel is traveling to other hard-hit countries. Supply chains are being supported across oceans. It certainly isn’t easy, and often is unprecedented. Events like this serve to prove how much stronger we are when working together and not at odds with each other globally.
Daily Life and Awareness
Many people are discovering how much of their life is habitual. Habits are highly effective in helping us be successful at work and take care of our families. A major event such as the coronavirus pandemic gives us the reason and method to change those habits. People work and travel in a different way, their daily routines change, and priorities shift. When you’re forced to do things differently, new habits begin to form. Perhaps staying home more means you can develop a new skill, or try a new art form. It forces creativity to accomplish the same thing, such as staying fit or gaining strength.
Among the stories of heartbreak and anxiety are those of people helping others, providing their services at no cost, volunteering to shop for the elderly, and sewing masks for healthcare workers. Research is moving forward at an unprecedented pace, paving the way for future breakthroughs. People are giving up time with their own families to care for those who are sick or at risk. Truck drivers, utility workers, childcare providers, and grocery store clerks are now among the most essential people who are needed more than ever. The nation is coming together to support each other in ways that we couldn’t have imagined.
Preventative Measures and Preparation
Some areas of the country have certain emergency preparations in place. People in Kansas know how to hide from a tornado. Folks living on the coast have to-go bags and are ready to run to higher ground from a tsunami. If people, in general, didn’t know how to be prepared for a global pandemic with supplies and thorough plans, they certainly will now. Through the trials of navigating such uncharted waters, we will come out the other side with a more thorough understanding of what it means to be prepared to keep ourselves and our families healthy and ready for a major global event.
What can we learn from this? Ideally, we will have better healthcare systems, with pandemic response units that can move quickly to identify and contain outbreaks before they start to spread. We need the ability to quickly ramp up the production of medical equipment, testing kits, and drugs. Future pandemics can be quickly responded to and shut down, keeping our nation – and the world – healthy.
The results of choices made during this global coronavirus pandemic will certainly define the country for a generation. The world has changed many times, and it is changing again. All of us will adapt to a new way of living, working, and communicating. As with all change, there will be some who lose more than most. SafeHandles stands ready to provide whatever support we can to get the nation through the crisis and to create stronger communities.