It’s now been two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It’s been a chaotic and uncertain time. It’s changed life as we know it. Masks came about, everyone bought toilet paper in a panic, and nobody left their homes.
The lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic are undoubtedly valuable. If we ever face a global pandemic again, we’ll know what to do and what not to do. As humanity looks back on the past couple of years, we must ask ourselves what we can learn from them. Here’s what we feel are the most important lessons to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masks Help Control the Spread
The first lesson to learn is the usefulness of masks. While this has been hotly debated, it’s undeniable that they’ve had a positive impact. They provide a barrier that stops respiratory droplets from spreading. During the pandemic, we found that they’re most effective when sick people wear them.
You wear a mask to protect others, and everyone wears one to protect you. If everyone wears a mask, we can limit the spread of disease. Masks became widespread throughout Asia after the outbreak of SARS in 2003. We’re bound to see the same widespread use throughout North America post-pandemic. Masks are excellent to wear during flu season.
Telehealth Is a Useful Tool
During the pandemic, nobody wanted to venture outdoors unless they had to for necessities. That led to the widespread adoption of telehealth visits. They proved very effective, so much so that they’re here to stay.
Doctors find they’re most effective for patients that live far away. It’s hard for these patients to make the trek to the doctor more than once a year. Now, they can supplement their yearly visits with telehealth. That allows doctors to have easier access to their patients.
Mental Health Is a Real Concern
Mental health problems skyrocketed during the pandemic. People struggled with quarantining for long periods. Isolation leads to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Not only that, but many reported mental health side effects from the COVID-19 infection. They reported anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a general “foggy mind” feeling. Medical professionals will take mental health more seriously with pandemics going forward.
Those are our choices for the most important lessons to learn from the pandemic. These unprecedented times demanded that people adapt to change. If we ever face an outbreak again, we’ll have a better idea of what to do. We’ll break out masks immediately, as well as social distancing and quarantining. At the same time, we’ll keep a closer eye on mental health. Doctors will also keep in close contact with patients via telehealth visits.