COVID-19 and its empathic social lessons

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Isabella Martins Canuto Pontes da Silva and Ms. Nura Terek Ali Abdel Aziz, two 2nd-year medical students at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Aparecido dos Santos (Uniceplac) in Gama-DF, Brazil. They are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Ensuring a healthy life and promoting well-being for all is the third sustainable development goal promoted by the United Nations (UN). This goal, however bold, aims to ensure health and quality of life, regardless of the context, even if it is pandemic. Thus, in the year 2020, humanity unexpectedly had to deal as a situation no longer seen in the last century and, with it many lessons have arisen.

Among them, the main thing is that empathy and care for others are the best “painkillers” that the world can experience. In difficult moments like this, society, and consequently medicine, has needed and continues to need a lot of solidarity, after all people need people. In view of this learning, it is appropriate to understand its influence.

Humanity has always needed good health management in public systems, especially to control the health crisis. And for this, it is necessary that the population is aware of the current situation and follow all protocols recommended by the State. After all, empathy is found in the small attitudes that move the routine of living beings, so it is necessary to understand that with the feeling of importance with the next it is possible to solve the common crisis quickly, given that people no longer have selfish and individualistic thinking and start thinking as a whole.

Moreover, it is up to the authorities to be understanding and sensitive to this reality, putting itself in the place of citizens, and fulfilling their duties of controlling the situation, ensuring the promotion of health and well-being. Unfortunately, we are faced with contrasting adversity, where there are countries that have virtually eradicated the virus, such as Australia and Israel, or countries that are already even vaccinating animals against Covid-19, such as the U.S., while other countries have a growing contamination rate like India and Brazil.

Therefore, it is concluded that in some countries the lessons learned, especially with regard to empathy, which starts in the smallest details, how to follow the protocols to protect others and oneself, or great things, such as good state management.

However, in Brazil, pertinent measures have not been implemented correctly, which has led to numerous social and economic problems. Therefore, it is necessary to understand that empathy in the social and governmental sphere is an extremely important tool to fight any health crisis.

About the author

Isabella Martins Canuto Pontes da Silva is a 2nd-year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Aparecido dos Santos (Uniceplac), in Gama-DF, Brazil. She is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Brazil (IFMSA-Brazil).

Nura Terek Ali Abdel Aziz is a 2nd-year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Aparecido dos Santos (Uniceplac) in Gama-DF, Brazil. She is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Brazil (IFMSA-Brazil).

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