April 14, 2020

A diamond in the rough: COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has been truly devastating. All over the press we see how many deaths there have been, the soaring number of unemployed individuals and the adverse effects on our mental health. These things are all true and sadly represent only a handful of the horrible scenarios we are all facing as a result of this virus.

Yet amazingly, in the face of adversity, we are seeing changes that will benefit us for years and generations to come. Today I want to highlight these positives and the good things that have come from COVID-19 so far:

  1. The rise of Telemedicine – Healthcare professionals are responding to patients remotely and its working! Doctors can get through many more cases in the course of a day freeing up clinic hours for those desperately in need of contact time.
  2. Collaborative research – Many of the big pharma giants are now working in unison to combat novel coronavirus. If these collaborations are successful, it could mean more joint working in the future. Hopefully resulting in the faster production of more effective medicines.
  3. Multidisciplinary efforts – We are now seeing companies that work outside the health care sector (such as Formula one) working with those within it to create bespoke solutions – to manufacture ventillators and protective clothing for our healthcare heroes.
  4. Quality time with friends and family – COVID-19 has taken us away from our friends and loved ones BUT in a weird way its brought us all closer together. We are embracing the now and reaching out to those we can’t see for Skype calls, family quizzes and other virtual activities.
  5. Sense of community –  We have a common cause that is bringing us closer together and back down to earth. There is better provision for the poor and homeless –  they now have places to sleep and food to eat. Those who were isolated prior to quarantine are volunteering to help individuals who need it the most, giving them a real sense of purpose.
  6. Exercise and exploration – Though we are restricted in outings, coronavirus has positively impacted the amount of time we spend outdoors exploring our communities. We are cherishing the time we are allowed to spend outside and are proactively using it to keep fit. This extra time spent walking/running/cycling outdoors will not only protect our physical health but also our mental wellbeing.
  7. Appreciation of the NHS – We now understand more than ever before what the NHS do for us as a country. This understanding will instil in us the importance of taking our medicines properly, turning up to GP appointments on time and using A and E if and when it is absolutely necessary. Never again will we take this service for granted.

So there we have it, as Oscar Wilde said: “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic”. Absurdly, COVID-19 may have been the push we needed to make some truly impactful and brilliant changes. These are just a few of the rewards we will reap from this situation and I am sure far more will unfold as time goes on. A true sign that every cloud, no matter how big, has a silver lining – or in this case maybe even many.

THE TALKING MEDICINES BLOG

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