Saving the world from COVID-19

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Maryam Azeem, a third year medical student studying in shalamar medical and dental college in Pakistan. She is 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

We are currently experiencing the third wave of coronavirus and the very notion of resurgence tells us that we haven’t been able to manage it well. We need to swot  not only to manage our healthcare systems but minimize economical and social consequences to reduce people suffering. The only way we can tackle the incoming challenges is by learning from our shortcomings. The awareness of our lackings will help us devise strategies to combat these difficult circumstances.

The first and second waves of the coronavirus have taught us that simple steps like washing hands and wearing a mask can be extremely effective in dealing with this virus and how basic equipment like  PPE can save lives. Initially, healthcare professionals all over the world hadn’t access to personal protective equipment which resulted in direct exposure to covid making them sick and causing a shortage of staff moreover doctors had to treat patients until they remain asymptomatic which infected more people but now that the issue had been solved it has helped us in plummeting the number of cases.

Elective surgeries have been withheld  Many new ways have been adopted to help patients with other medical conditions. Telemedicine has proven to be productive in treating patients with minor conditions and managing asymptomatic patients. It has been established that neither light nor strong lockdowns are advantageous. We need smart lockdowns so that we can save people and our economies as well. Businesses have adapted to the new normal and have helped a great deal by early closing of retail stores and restaurants.

Open access to covid testing has proven to be very efficacious. Twice testing to know who has and who had the coronavirus to help deteriorating patients with the plasma of recovered patients. Putting traveling restrictions and quarantining the visitors has minimize the spread.

 Many negative impacts on certain aspects of the economy have been observed. We have failed to manage the adverse social impacts which covid brought.  An increasing number of cases of domestic abuse, suicides, depression has been reported. Coronavirus has affected the mental health of people up to a great extent. Deaths from undertreated and untreated medical conditions have increased.

Our approach and strategies are limited due to little knowledge of alternate sources of transmission, reinfection, and effects of temperature, season, and humidity on covid 19. There isn’t much research available to us. The second major challenge is education which has suffered a lot due to this pandemic. To avoid mass gatherings all educational institutions had to be closed which has created many difficulties for the students and the teachers. Online classes have destroyed the essence of learning.

The biggest challenge we are facing is difficulty in protecting our economies. No economy is immune and many countries have lost billions of their GDP. Major victims of the covid 19 outbreak are the undeveloped and developing countries. Although the conditions have improved there are still many steps to be taken and  challenges to overcome.

About the author

Maryam Azeem is a third year medical student studying in shalamar medical and dental college in Pakistan. She has been a part of IFMSA Pakistan for three years. She is an international peer education trainer and has worked with capacity building team on national level. She has a published article on immunisation in AMSA international newsletter. She is creating  awareness about non communicable disease through her facebook  page ‘’Action for better health’’. She is currently managing all the social media handles of her local council.

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