By Timothy Sneed
As 2020 draws to a close and we reflect on a difficult year, the impact that COVID-19 has had on societies across the globe is likely the first thing on many of our minds. This pandemic has had profound impacts on every aspect of daily life for communities across the world. From the pressure it put on health services to the restrictions imposed on international travel, there isn’t one area of life it hasn’t changed. Here are some of the the far-reaching and profound ways COVID-19 has forced society to adapt to changing times:
The Need for Health System Reform
COVID-19 took a major toll on health systems the world over. As frontline workers struggled to keep on top of their ever-increasing workload, COVID-19 demonstrated how completely unprepared our hospitals were to deal with a global pandemic. In addition to the shortage of personal protective equipment, there was a shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
As doctors continue to be overworked and are forced to make tough decisions, it’s highly likely that mistakes will be made. On top of the responsibility of having to save so many lives, physicians now face the increased prospect of medical malpractice lawsuits. Many will now need to consider a licensed defense attorney to defend their right to practice. With all of these major changes, it’s clear that healthcare reform is desperately needed.
Racial Inequality Has Been Highlighted
The economic impacts of COVID-19 also served to highlight huge disparities in wealth that exist with racial and ethnic groups financially hit hardest by the pandemic. In turn, this led to racial tensions surfacing quite dramatically as was demonstrated by the Black Lives Matter protest action that took place in cities across the globe.
Flexible Working Looks to Become a Reality
As people retreated into their homes as governments imposed lockdown restrictions, working from home became normalized for many businesses. Thanks to technological tools we had at our disposal, remote working became a viable option for many people. Companies also noticed the time-saving benefits of these solutions, and it is highly likely that many will continue to take advantage of the flexibility of remote working well after the pandemic has ended.
Domestic Travel May Be the Way Forward
International travel restrictions imposed globally to stem the spread of infection made things incredibly difficult for people used to taking annual vacations to exotic places. But all was not lost, as it forced people to look for options to explore places closer to home. With domestic travel on the rise this trend has the potential to be a real boost for local economies.
It Tested Relationships and Brought Us Closer Together
There was no doubt that being in close confines with our loved ones for long periods of time put pressure on our relationships. For many people, it also created a new type of closeness. As we were forced to slow down, communication became key. As people invested time talking to friends and relatives, the pandemic served to strengthen bonds too.
2020 has been a year to remember, to say the least. While it’s certainly been tough on health workers and the economy, it has also forced people to slow down and appreciate the simpler things in life. As we ease out of lockdown and get back to our lives, there are some large changes for us on the horizon.