The year 2020 will go down in history for a lot of reasons but outstanding will be the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the onset of the pandemic ( disease outbreak affecting many countries), COVID-19 has exposed challenges in the existing healthcare systems including preparedness to deal with a pandemic both in wealthy and poor countries.
Death toll from the disease is enormous and the effect on people all over the world immeasurable. Lives have been lost, livelihoods shuttered and families broken. At the same time the pandemic has also shown how people can adapt and strive to manage the circumstances.
Some of the human characteristics from this pandemic include:
Survival: people have been looking for ways to survive the pandemic. For example scientists have been working around the clock to develop vaccines against COVID-19. People have adapted a new way of life, use of face covering such as masks and shields as well as keeping a safe distance between each other to reduce the spread of the virus. Some countries have endured lockdowns while others have been finding ways to minimize movement of populations.
Adaptation: People had to learn new things in a short period of time. Closure of schools led to home schooling including a shift to online learning. These adaptations revealed socioeconomic gaps between those who could afford this new shift in a short period of time and those who couldn’t even in the long term.
Introduction of face masks and facial covering meant extra expenses for families and an extra burden for those already struggling to make ends meet.
Starting over: What’s next is the question, what’s next for those who have lost their families and livelihoods? What’s next for the indigenous communities which have been hit hard by the pandemic? What’s next for limited resource countries struggling to manage existing public health challenges on top of this pandemic?