United Academy

Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Suman Singh

August 10, 2020
Last updated July 15, 2021
KMC Lalitpur


Every challenge teaches us lessons. It will be important to be prepared to tackle the next one that comes without notice. Pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019. Coronavirus (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was declared as a pandemic. The importation of infected individuals to uninfected countries was the main cause of the current pandemic. As of 9 August 2020, there have been 19,462,112 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 722,285 deaths reported to WHO.

Each day, we're overwhelmed with news about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it continues to affect our health, psychology, and socio-economic sides. There is no doubt this pandemic will be a defining moment in health care for several reasons. Social distancing was employed early tools for effectiveness to challenge pandemic situation and avoidance of gathering in large numbers. Experts were educated about hand hygiene and wearing masks if they felt sick. The handling and isolation of symptomatic patients and those with travel exposure have been aggressive and appropriate–separate screening locations, separate clinical teams, and separate treatment facilities were used to avoid exposing other patients. Health authorities have been aggressive in tracking down sick contacts via interviews and closed-circuit television footage and quarantining those at risk.

Taiwan and Hong Kong closed schools, while Singapore did not. In short, these 3 regions were swift and aggressive in their response, and they have been effective in limiting their cases despite neighboring China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Lessons learned from the past century of pandemics should be heeded and rapidly implemented. Had efforts like these been implemented in Wuhan, perhaps the pandemic could have been avoided. Many developed countries researching for manufacturing vaccines for future intervention. 

The moral and social activities are an important factor in our everyday lives, and they are especially important in emergencies. In situations of uncertainty, panic, fear, and special measures, people’s spirit and healthy attitude should be specially preserved and be of paramount importance. Young people organize online events, various interactive competitions, shows, and similar. Thus, we influence each other through a positive and calm attitude. We have to support the elderly and our parents during this pandemic crisis as the study shows that newborn, infant and older has more risk of COVID 19 Class attendance is made possible, and young people in home quarantine can also attend online courses and trainings to learn new skills, improve their knowledge and interests.

In Nepal, we forget things quickly. Just five years ago, the country was hit by a massive earthquake, but we have started building structures in the same old haphazardly. We have allowed the encroachment of open spaces-areas that would have been perfect for people to gather in during times of emergency. On social media, we put up posts about how scary the world has become due to the virus, but are secretly happy to attend large gatherings at banquet halls and public places where the washrooms, which are not in the best condition, can spread multiple diseases, let alone Covid-19. We are yet to look at the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic on Nepal’s tourism. As with many other parts of the world, the biggest outbound market, from China, is affected and so are various inbound markets. In a largely import-dependent, consumption-oriented society, the largest producer of products in the world has been impacted; it will leave a big, lasting impact. The impact of COVID has been also affecting sectors like entertainment, tourism, restaurants, and the travel industry, with a tremendous escalation of job losses. Disrupted supply chain and declining stock markets are the final consequences of these social changes, thus hitting the global economy. Finally, a greater incidence of panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and other psychosocial issues has been reported.

Every human challenge teaches us lessons; it will be important to be better prepared to take on the next challenge that comes without notice. Disaster preparedness is not just an external, money-making programme. It is about building up the credibility of the country and winning the trust of the people. It is also about self-learning and community outreach. We need to change ourselves, and then share our learning with the rest of the world. Successfully control a crisis does not only mean successfully eliminating its consequences and reducing its negative impact. Overcoming a crisis also involves realizing one's own mistakes, shortcomings, deficiencies, readiness to respond to a crisis and constant work on combating it. We will overcome the crisis if we take something from it and if we learn lessons that will allow us to be more prepared and resilient when we have to face a new risk in the future.

Dr. Suman Kumar Singh, DVM, MS (Medicine) is an instructor at Shree Janta Model Technical School, Bideh Nagarpalika, and president of Technical Teacher's Association, Province 02, Nepal.

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