Laptop keys with stethoscope

The COVID-19 pandemic has been forefront in the news and on our minds for a year now. With vaccinations beginning, hope has blossomed for an end to the pandemic or at least a beginning to an end. Thoughts have now turned to what changes in our lives and our healthcare will continue as the pandemic hopefully begins to wane.

We have all seen the need we have for a robust healthcare system, one that is ready to take on the next pandemic. We need to ensure the proper supports are available to all medical professionals to combat mental stress and physical and emotional burnout, as well as the tools to carry out their tasks safely.

Due to the pandemic, the technological side of healthcare has greatly improved. We have consulted medical professionals on phones and through emails. We have made appointments online and checked in without leaving the car. The use of artificial intelligence to detect outbreaks and to speed up drug and vaccine research has increased throughout the pandemic. We have seen technological leaps and bounds in bio-research and public health monitoring.

We have developed or refined our personal and public hygiene measures from regular handwashing with soap to wearing facemasks in public to physical distancing and increased sanitizing at home and in public places.  This is all to slow the progression of the pandemic but has also reduced the spread of colds and influenza worldwide.

As vaccinations occur and travel opens again, there is much discussion of vaccination passports to ensure the safety of the countries and the travellers.

We have shifted to the digital world in our work, schools and day-to-day life, often to the benefit of our planet and sustainability.

We have made so many sacrifices and should be proud of our efforts.  We must remember that this a not an end but rather a new beginning. Some of these changes will remain a part of our lives as we emerge from this pandemic. Many changes are for the better and will improve our lives. For now, we need to continue with public health measures and prepare to be vaccinated so we can move on to a post-pandemic lifestyle.