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31st December 2019 was the day when the first Coronavirus case was identified officially in China. We have come a long way since then, with drastic developments in the worldwide healthcare scenario. As we stand today, after three months, there is a lot of fear and anxiety as to what is in store for us in the coming days or weeks or months. This is a novel perspective on the concept of the VUCA world. The number of patients of COVID-19 and their contacts undergoing quarantine is increasing by the day, and these will continue to increase at a faster rate in the days to come.
In a developing nation such as India, with a population of 1.34 billion, the existing healthcare infrastructure and delivery system have already been facing challenges of accessibility and affordability. This COVID-19 pandemic will further overwhelm the already overburdened personnel working in the healthcare sector. The doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other hospital staff are bearing the onslaught of this infection directly.
In this difficult scenario, we, the general population, look up to the healthcare fraternity to provide us with treatment, supportive care, and succour. As we eagerly await drugs and vaccines to combat this pandemic, the only option that we possess, is to take precautions to stay away from the infection, as much as is possible for us. That will be the only protective measure. However, as we introspect, we should spare a thought on the personnel working in the healthcare sector. Neither can they stay away from the patients, nor can they avoid contact with the suspected cases of COVID-19. They are the soldiers on the battlefield fighting the enemy. And they are undoubtedly fighting with all their strength. These healthcare personnel are under tremendous physical and mental stress. Apart from their health, they are concerned about transmitting the infection back to their homes, to their families and friends. The society needs to be empathetic to these heroes and their homes. The people need to be aware of the mammoth efforts taken by them. On 22nd March 2020, at 5 pm, all Indians acknowledged and applauded the efforts of these healthcare professionals by clapping, cheering, ringing bells, plates, etc. Let this not be restricted to a single-day event, wherein we applaud and then forget the efforts. All of us need to remember and acknowledge their efforts at all times.
We need to support the efforts of these healthcare personnel from our side as well. Let us take a pledge to abide by our collective civic duty to abide by all the precautions which have been conveyed to us as per public health guidelines. It will be difficult for us. But let us be strong and resolve to maintain the lockdown and break this cycle of transmission of COVID-19. It is the need of the hour to fight with these healthcare soldiers and contribute to the victory against COVID-19. Our efforts will not only ease the burden on the healthcare delivery system but also help toward the health of the nation. By taking care of ourselves first, we will take care of the society at large!! So, yes, let’s be a part of this fight against COVID-19, by supporting our doctors, nurses, and all healthcare personnel! Together, we can, and we will defeat COVID-19!!!The article has been contributed by Dr. Aasawari Nalgundwar, Assistant Professor, Healthcare, S.P. Mandali’s Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)
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[This article has been reproduced with permission from Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)]