COVID-19: Global Impacts and Next Steps

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sophia Cavalcante Mitidieri and Victória de Andrade Santos, a first and fourth-year medical students, respectively, from Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju-SE, Brazil. They are affiliated to 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.

Despite having spent two years after the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic, most countries continued to invest and even rely on personal protective equipment (PPE) to maintain the stability of such an uncertain scenario. Within this situation, there is a very large question on the part of the population and the heads of state: What will be the next step? 

Society now finds itself in the uncertainty of a future that was already very unknown. The investments for the slightest stability were too much and, like anything else, had great consequences for nations. Increased plastic waste, fragile economies, countless dead individuals, hospital overload. Well, as brought by Isaac Newton, every action generates a reaction. There is only a need to understand what is the reaction to the actions, mostly unpredictable, that needed to be taken during that turbulent period. 

Plastic waste overlaps with what had been absurdly expected and it is now worth researching the extent to which our ecosystem has been affected beyond the unsaturated pandemic in 2020, as well as understanding the possible implications of this excessive waste on the well-being of the population. However, it is also worth noting that there is the importance of observing how the world’s major economies will restructure after an impact as significant as the one caused by SARS-Cov-2, which caused the spending of millions for the development of vaccines, maintenance of hospital beds and lives that were increasingly being lost. How have underdeveloped countries handled and still handle the reaction mentioned by Newton’s Law? That’s yet an unanswered question because they’re still suffering the impacts of a pandemic that completely unstructured systems that were already unstructured. The next steps for many nations are to hold firm and keep fighting. Meanwhile, other nations are already able to visualize prospects for the future. 

That said, in order to overcome these obstacles and find the way back to our long-awaited “normality”, it will be necessary to work hard in different areas, precisely because it is a serious public health context. Therefore, with regard to science, several gaps are still observed with regard to the full understanding of the virus and for an effective approach to be developed in the management of the disease, we must further elucidate, through investments in research projects, pathogenesis, viral replication, possible genetic mutations, transmission dynamics and the clinical impacts of COVID-19 on affected patients so that we can then refine treatment strategies, improve prognosis and even anticipate future epidemics.

Also, it is worth noting the importance of encouraging health education plans for the population, especially in underdeveloped countries, since basic hygiene habits and primary knowledge about contamination control measures in viral focus areas are extremely important. Therefore, in view of the vast scenarios brought about by the repercussions of COVID-19, it is up to us to unravel the spheres that were affected and base our great solution on finding the ideal means that are capable of creating safe, efficient approaches that are able to overcome the deficiencies of pre-existing methodologies.


1- Thoradeniya T, Jayasinghe S. COVID-19 and future pandemics: a global systems approach and relevance to SDGs. Global Health. 2021 May 21;17(1):59. Available form:

2- Kutralam-Muniasamy G, Pérez-Guevara F, Shruti VC. A critical synthesis of current peer-reviewed literature on the environmental and human health impacts of COVID-19 PPE litter: New findings and next steps. J Hazard Mater. 2022 Jan 15;422:126945. Available form:



5- HABAS, Khaled; NGANWUCHU, Chioma; SHAHZAD, Fanila; GOPALAN, Rajendran; HAQUE, Mainul; RAHMAN, Sayeeda; MAJUMDER, Anwarul Azim; NASIM, Talat. Resolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Expert Review Of Anti-Infective Therapy, [S.L.], v. 18, n. 12, p. 1201-1211, 4 ago. 2020. Informa UK Limited.

About the author

Sophia Cavalcante Mitidieri and Victória de Andrade Santos are first and fourth-year medical students, respectively, from Universidade Tiradentes, Aracaju-SE, Brazil. They are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), a cordial partner of The Sting.

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