As the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to a near end because of the vaccines, and a New Normal is slowly being adopted, there are some things that we need to put in mind in order for us to cope up with the new normal life that we are facing and to always remind us the lessons that we experienced through this pandemic.
Below are some lessons we need to remember for us to be reminded of what happened during the pandemic.
• Family Matters More Than We Realized- we have experienced hard times during the pandemic that we can’t be with our family members who are far from us because of the protocols being implemented. It affected mostly the older folks because they can’t visit their grandkids anytime due to pandemic. It has been realized that not being able to visit our families whenever we want to takes a big toll on our emotional health.
• We Have Unleashed a Revolution of Medicine- John Cooke, M.D., Medical director of RNA Therapeutics Program at Houston Methodist Hospital's DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center said that "One of the biggest lessons we've learned from COVID is that the scientific community working together can do some pretty amazing things." In the past, it has taken 4 to 20 years to create a conventional vaccine, but this pandemic has challenged our scientist to come up with a vaccine in just a few months’ time (a record breaking 11 months by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines). It has shown that when our scientists work together, it is easier to make medicines for our citizens to battle diseases and come up with a better way of solving the problem happening right now.
• Self Care Is Not Self-Indulgence- Richelle Concepcion, clinical psychologist and president of the Asian American Psychological Association said that as the Virus upended life last year, America became a hibernating nation. Canned and instant food sales have risen 37% since last April. Premium chocolate sales also grew 21%. With 7 out of 10 Americans doing home based jobs, COVID turned the focus for all ages to self-care. Most people have realized self-care to be more important because of the pandemic. It is more soothing to one’s self when having self-care than always thinking about our jobs and other people. The pandemic made us realized that having self-care is always good for our wellbeing.
• Have a Stash Ready for the Next Crisis- when the pandemic started, people were panic buying because of the protocols implemented and that there would be shortage of food. There were people who didn't have enough budget to stack on food because of lack of savings. We should always have a savings fund for the rainy days in order for us to survive if ever another crisis will arrive and hit us.
• The Adage "Age Is Just a Number" Has a New Meaning- "This isn't just about the pandemic. Your health is directly related to lifestyle-nutrition, physical activity, a healthy weight and restorative sleep."
Jacob Mirsky, M.D., primary care physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Revere Healthcare Center and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. COVID has taught us that having old age always make us more vulnerable to diseases compared to the younger generations. Also, having comorbidities (essentially having two or more health issues simultaneously) mattered much more. Studies showed that people who are 75 years and older have 4 times more risk in having a fatal infection than those who are 65 years old and younger. This just shows that we need to live a healthy lifestyle in order for us to live longer. Always have a habit of exercise whenever we have time and also have a healthy diet in our intakes.
• We Befriended Technology, and There's No Going Back- People have been more hooked on the online world during this pandemic. Easy bank access, food solutions, shopping and many more. Though, the "In Real Life" way is still there, most of us would always prefer doing online transactions to avoid long lines and hassle transactions.
• Work Is Anywhere Now- A shift that Bodes Well for Older Americans- Carol Fishman Cohen, cofounder of iRelaunch, which works with employers to create a mid-career and return-to-work programs for older workers said "One of the major impacts of the new working-from-home focus is that more jobs are becoming non-location-specific." With the rise of the pandemic, workers together with their managers have learned that they can still be as productive working from home as they are in the office. This setting has also helped older people have jobs because even though they can’t conveniently report to office, they can still work while staying in the comfort of their homes. There are still lots of work that need to be in locations like our Nurses, Policemen and others, but ore jobs are opening for people who can’t just leave their homes for some reasons and it helps in dealing with their financial problems.
• The Crowds Will Return, but We Will Gather Carefully- The new normal life has slowly been adopted, but the masks and sanitizers will still be there for a few years’ time. This will not be easily removed from our daily lives. Big gatherings are slowly being allowed, but we all know that we still need to be careful in order for us not to have another outbreak. COVID did not disappear, we need to always put that in our minds. We just adopted the lifestyle of the new normal.
• Loneliness Hurts Health More Than We Thought-The protocols that were implemented during the pandemic were many. But the isolation part hit most of those who were infected by the virus. Being away from your loved ones takes a big impact in our lives. Specially when we are sick. Before the pandemic, we are accustomed that every time we don't feel well, our loved ones will always be there for us, but this pandemic turned that situation around. We can’t be taken care of by them, and we are sent to a place all by ourselves. This takes a big hit in our health. Many people who have been isolated because of being infected with the virus encounter anxiety. That is why we must bear in mind that being lonely will always cause our health to deteriorate.
These few examples are just a tip of the iceberg for the lessons we may have encountered during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We have experienced a numerous number of pandemics, but so far this pandemic affected all of us. There is no assurance that stability is near. But let us all be mindful in our surroundings and also in our own lives so that whatever problems we may encounter, we will have the strength to overcome those problems.