At long last, we’re beginning to tackle this rotten pandemic. COVID-19 managed to affect just about every aspect of modern life. It destroyed economies and businesses, particularly in the entertainment, travel and hospitality sectors. It caused illness, grief, death, and mourning for many unfortunate families who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It resulted in arduous periods of isolation, deteriorating mental health, and loss of connection with communities and peers. Of course, this is only scratching the surface of COVID-19s impact, but needless to say, it wasn’t exactly a high point of anyone’s year.
We’re still facing an uphill battle, but fortunately, the dust is beginning to settle. Venues are returning, weddings and funerals are safely achieving appropriate numbers of guests, and humanity is returning. We are in unfathomable gratitude to healthcare workers, nurses and doctors all around the globe. So, where does this leave us? Now that the worst is over, it’s imperative that we collectively learn some lessons. If another virus takes over, it’s our civic duty to be more adequately prepared so that negative impacts are reduced. This isn’t The Sims 5. This is real life. Actions have consequences, so let’s run through 5 takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sadly, the countries that got most overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases were the ones that took too long to put rules in place. For example, New Zealand shut its borders and ordered a lockdown almost immediately, and essentially eradicated the virus within a month. Needless to say, it’s always best to act sooner rather than later in the case of a virus. Otherwise, we’re only going to make containing it harder in the long run.
ADEQUATELY FUND VACCINE RESEARCH AND PRODUCTION
Creating a safe, clinically tested vaccine that can be mass-produced to meet overwhelming demand should be on the very top of a countries’ virus response list.
WEARING A MASK IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA
It’s a damn shame the amount of Karen’s that believed wearing a mask was some sort of violation of freedom or rights. Let’s get the facts straight. A mask helps keep you safe and others around you. Surgical masks are proven to reduce the risk of spread by over 90%. That’s some favourable odds. Sure, they can be a little inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it’s a small price to pay to stay safe and enjoy the outdoors.
DON’T PANIC BUY
Panic buying is a selfish act that impacts the vulnerable the most. I remember a shopping trip from last year, where the toilet paper aisle was stripped clean. An elderly woman was in the aisle, baffled, confused, and she ended up resorting to buying paper towels. That’s just plain awful. Manufacture chains ensure that there are enough essential resources to go around, but only if we buy just what we need.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Lockdown and extended time indoors resulted in many bed-ridden days of loneliness and limited communication. Openload kills time, but it isn’t a friend. Isolation isn’t healthy, and it can lead to anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Even though platforms like Zoom and Facetime are still virtual, they’re a fantastic makeshift way to communicate with your friends and loved ones. Reaching out to those who are doing it tough is a commendable act that helps emphasise that we’re all in this together.