Novel Coronavirus, a respiratory virus that has brought drastic changes in today's world. The COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan City, China, where the first human case was reported in late December 2019. A retrospective investigation conducted by Chinese officials traced a wholesale food market as the epicenter of the outbreak. The initial patients included stall owners to market employees and management. After environmental samples from the market tested positive, proving the initial amplification of the outbreak, it was sealed on 1st January 2020. Soon after that, this virus started spreading outrageously and was declared as a Global Pandemic on March 11, 2020.
As of April 2021, there are 13 vaccines for COVID-19, currently authorized for public use by at least one national regulatory authority which is pretty amazing progress as vaccine development usually took 10 to 15 years before this one. Almost 3 million deaths have been reported due to COVID-19 as per the statistics collected throughout the world. People around the world are getting vaccinated as per the guidelines issued by the FDA which undergoes a rigorous review of laboratory, clinical and manufacturing to ensure the safety , effectiveness, and quality of the products.
Recent economic analysis estimates that all major economies have lost at least 2.9% gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. Even though vaccines are out now, some still fear the virus is going to take an overall long-term effect to be stabilized entirely from the economic scene, and it’s still too early to say what 2021 holds ahead. Many countries have started suffering from the second wave of the virus. This has once again caused lockdowns and closure of markets that are essential for financial growth and trade.
COVID-19 has had devastating effects on the health care systems due to the overwhelming number of cases. This has also caused a shortage of resources and abilities available for the doctors and medical staff. Treating patients with other illnesses and diseases is being affected as well. Patients who have cardiac, diabetic, or any other disease of critical nature are more prone to face worse scenarios after testing positive for this virus. However, social distancing and lockdowns have reduced diagnosis rates of infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza, as would be expected with reduced social contact. Furthermore, other infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis were put on the sidelines, despite still being very real problems, particularly in more vulnerable populations.
An assessment by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundations in September 2020 assessed data on vaccine coverage from the first portion of the pandemic and came to a conclusion that vaccine coverage in health systems had been pushed back around 25 years in 25 weeks.
Apart from being affected by the virus physically, mental issues are also an alarming factor in this pandemic. Due to strict laws for following SOPs both patients and healthcare workers are suffering multiple mental effects like depression, mood disorders and in some cases PTSD symptoms were found in the effects of COVID-19.
The measures taken by countries around the world have left significant damage to people’s interactive freedom. Social gatherings have extreme limitations and risk that has caused a sense of stress and isolation among the general population. Almost all of the academic and corporate sectors have started working from home with online resources.
Not just the feeling of being isolated, but also unemployment has created a far bigger concern from many organizations downsizing. This has created a financial crisis amongst many people and consistently increasing the pressure of managing daily life while surviving through the pandemic is becoming much harder due to social issues like these. Some examples of these manifestations include hyposmia, dysgeusia, encephalitis, meningitis, and acute cerebrovascular disease. It has been suggested that these neurological effects are due to direct infection of the brain, virus-induced hyperinflammatory response, hypercoagulation, and post-infectious immune-mediated processes. As a result, these neurological effects can lead to a wide range of psychological issues ranging from depression, anxiety, fatigue, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Things to Learn
Without a doubt, this pandemic came in a manner that no country was prepared to handle. Controlling the spread with 100% accuracy was almost impossible as there wasn’t much research and data available on the virus of this nature when it started booming. Right now the situation for some countries is getting better as they have followed SOPs guidance properly and getting their people vaccinated.
On the other hand, some states in the US are still suffering severe damages from COVID-19. Another concerning issue is that vulnerable places, from Asia, to India, Africa and Latin America where the virus has gotten out of control once again due to a lack of resources and limitations on the efforts in following SOPs guidelines strictly. This could be the case for any country that isn’t managing the necessary measures. A system for maintaining Electronic Health Records (EHR) must be deployed in every organization’s compliance plan. Every country must design a strong medical and healthcare policy with updated protocols tso counter the pandemic and any manifested variants of it to avoid causing further damage in the future.