Preventive Health – Biggest Lesson From a Post-COVID World
Not only disruptions, but COVID has also served as a catalyst for some of the much-needed transformations. The world has learned a great deal. It has enlightened us about the importance of masks, and vaccination.
We have realized that we tend to develop resiliency during a crisis. The response-based changes, even the smaller ones we adopt in daily life are effective tools to create resilience.
The Critical Importance of Preventive Healthcare
Of these, one of the most significant lessons is the importance of preventive healthcare. Proactive measures in the preventive healthcare model can stop diseases from becoming something major.
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, it has pushed preventive health as a key initiative on the healthcare agenda. It stands opposite the ‘curative’ model. To further curb any surge in COVID-19 cases as mutations rise, individuals’ preventive health behaviors become important.
What are individuals’ preventive health behaviors?
The implemented COVID guidelines emphasized the importance to maintain good hand hygiene, social distance and ensuring face mask-wearing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had recommended adopting these preventive health behaviors.
Giving due recognition to preventive health was the only to reduce the immense burden on the healthcare infrastructure. Seeing through the lens of a world approaching its post-COVID stage reminds us that in the face of concerning disease outbreaks, preventive health can help us hold our ground.
Manisha Juthani, MD, a Yale Medicine specialist for infectious diseases remarks, “Humanity’s memory is short, and what is not ever-present fades quickly.” She further adds that it is “important to remember and recognize our history.” We must not forget the COVID pandemic phase to prevent ourselves from undermining what preventive health can help us achieve.
Here are some measures that come under preventive health.
The Role of Masks: The pandemic necessitated the need to keep oneself as well as others are safe and healthy. After the 2003 SARS outbreak in East Asia, mask-wearing had become a preventive measure. Masks are essentially case in point. When suffering from flu, putting on a mask can help extensively.
Telehealth: It incorporates the use of technology for remotely conducting medical health. The pandemic triggered an urgency to switch to diagnosing the disease and administering remote treatment.
Prioritizing Mental Health: The COVID-19 pandemic led to the rise in reported mental health problems. So much so that, it has become a ‘second pandemic’ in itself. Taking mental health seriously has become essential.
Vaccination: Vaccines yield significant power in containing the negative health impacts of the pandemic.
Community is Essential: The interconnectedness of the world, and what roles social relations play were given a new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasized the importance of human connection.
Four Pillars of Preventive Health
There are four pillars to the right approach to preventive healthcare. These include:
- Timely intervention, and
- Follow up.
The post-COVID world values screening tests, immunizations, and wellness checks to stay active and healthy. It helps in minimizing any serious complications attached to the infection.
It thus reduces the risk of hospitalizations or early death. Preventive health behaviors can help make a timely intervention to minimize the impact on the quality of life.