The COVID-19 pandemic had a widespread effect in the daily lives of people worldwide. It affected areas like the food industry, the economy, and especially the healthcare sector. That raised a significant concern about certain issues uncovered. Thus, it teaches us much about our overall health as individuals and as a community. It also highlighted things we previously took for granted and we’ll discuss some of them subsequently.
1. The Gravity of Access to Healthcare:
Previously, we believed that only underprivileged people could complain about access to healthcare. However, resulting from this pandemic, the strain on healthcare workers and shortage of necessary equipment have become more noticeable. That’s because hospitals gave priority to COVID-19 patients and it took its toll on other patients. Although, some people are still in the dark, we now have an idea, and appreciate the importance of healthcare for all.
2. Personal Responsibility for Health:
There’s a saying that “prevention is better than cure,” which this situation proves to be accurate. Usually, they teach precautions and hygiene protocols in various settings but apparently, only few take them as seriously as they ought. It’s merely some years ago that we had to combat Ebola, and it’s alarming how complacent people were about taking responsibility for their health. However, this pandemic rekindled that habit as it was a basic prevention strategy.
3. Importance of a “Whole-society” Approach:
Besides each person taking responsibility for health, COVID showed us that an individual’s action can affect a community. From personal protection routines like wearing a mask to social distancing, one person’s negligence could cost others their lives. Though the effect isn’t quickly noticable with other health concerns, everyone has a role to play. One prominent example is having safe sex. It’s easy to get carried away, but once we’re aware of the ripple effect of actions or inactions, we should fall in line.
4. The Habit of Ignoring Symptoms:
Most Africans, especially Nigerians, find it normal to ignore certain symptoms they experience. That may result from lack of adequate health access or the belief that one should regard only seemingly serious symptoms. The major indicators of a possible COVID infection are general manifestations that could be malaria or flu. They include fever, cough, fatigue, aches, sore throat, and some others. Unbeknownst to people, these “unserious” symptoms may herald the presence of serious illnesses.
5. The Necessity of Vaccines:
Vaccines do a lot in eradicating diseases as seen from their track record. Researchers studied them and assure us that they’re safe for use. Nevertheless, certain people believe that these vaccines pose more risks than benefits and we shouldn’t use them. Seeing as they can’t resonate with research evidence, it might take a lot to convince such people. However, the COVID-19 virus gives the rest of us a general understanding of how vital vaccines are in preserving lives.
6. Mental Health Awareness:
Mental health discussions gained recognition in the last few years. However, many either neglect it, or still had the wrong ideas until recently. With a situation of such high gravity, people became mandated to talk about these experiences instead of denying them. That’s especially because of the unavailability of regular coping mechanisms like going out with friends, going to concerts, and others. That helped boost awareness of these issues.