Sustaining Health Post-COVID

COVID-19 has caused significant disruption over the last couple of years. While the global response has been something of a mixed bag, there have been efforts to establish how to navigate beyond the pandemic. The World Economic Forum presented the concept of the Great Reset. This was framed as an opportunity to shape the world’s recovery from COVID-19 in a more economically and socially positive way.

It’s clear the preservation of human health has to be a priority of the Great Reset. In some ways, our successful recovery will be dependent upon our attitude to public health. We’re going to take a look at what sustaining healthcare looks like in the time beyond COVID. 

Public Health Focus Shifts

For the past 2 years, the priorities for public health have understandably been directed toward infection control. Combatting the growing number of variants and educating the public on safety measures has been at the forefront of policy. However, there has recently been a move away from the full emergency response to COVID-19. Now we’re seeing a refocus toward imperatives to tackle the wider issues of our present and the post-pandemic future.

Those working in epidemiological fields are starting to apply their expertise in other fields. Expertise in areas as diverse as biostatistics, public health policy, and health informatics enables these professionals to contribute to a variety of community and global health challenges. At the moment, this includes addressing the water and wastewater issues. Often these experts will collaborate with environmental agencies and health departments. Their ability to analyze, report on, and make recommendations about the safety of water means they have a key role in health management. This also assists the sustainability priorities outlined in the Great Reset. 

Perhaps most importantly, professionals in public health fields are shifting toward addressing the medical problems associated with climate change. This issue is already starting to be a matter of concern on multiple levels. On one hand, there are long-term effects of pollution, unsafe drinking water, and insufficient food. However, there are also more individualized problems. Members of the public are experiencing climate-related anxiety and stress. Part of the challenge in sustaining human health is not just focusing on policies to tackle the larger harmful effects. We also have to balance this with support for these mental and emotional elements. 

Mental Wellness Priorities

In the wake of COVID-19, there is the need to prioritize mental wellness. Many of the events of the past two years have contributed to a rise in stress and anxiety. Between unemployment, a deadly virus, and isolation, the pandemic has dealt a blow to our psychological health. But let’s face it, we were already reaching a crisis point before the pandemic, with 1 in 5 U.S. adults living with mental illness. To successfully move beyond the strains of our current era, we need to address the full extent of our emotional, psychological, and behavioral challenges. 

A big part of this is understanding and tackling some of the day-to-day contributors to depression and anxiety. Many professionals agree one of the components here is insufficient sleep — as both a symptom and exacerbator of illness. Simple acts like making certain people have a mattress that supports quality sleep can make a difference here. It’s important to recognize there’s a financial barrier here, particularly at a time of high unemployment. But even those experiencing financial hardship have affordable options for investing in mattresses to meet their individual needs. By highlighting accessible tools for achieving good rest there’s a chance for better mental wellness to follow. This can be particularly true of beds addressing physical discomfort that may disturb sleep.

It’s not just physical tools the population needs to be more aware of. It is vital to show aspects of mental health can be managed with a commitment to consistent exercises. Yes, there is a need to make certain people have access to professional care when they need it. But a habit of mindfulness is free and effective for gaining insights into mindsets. It can also be an early warning system for potential problems on the horizon and tackling them efficiently. Even with aforementioned insomnia, a regular practice of meditation can be instrumental in reducing tension and quieting the mind to induce natural rest. Experts have found taking the time to implement meditative techniques can lower blood pressure. It also reduces the heart rate and increases serotonin. Empowering people to impact their psychological well-being is essential as we move forward.    

Utilizing Technology

Increased adoption of technological tools was one of the features of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses shifted to remote operations and families stayed connected via video calls. In the time of the Great Reset, we can expect technology to keep playing a significant role in our lives. This is no different when it comes to sustaining human health. 

Telehealth is a particularly important focus here. Many insurers expanded their coverage during the pandemic to allow remote appointments. However, this was often temporary and some insurers have already begun to roll back this coverage. Yet, telehealth represents an important tool in gaining access to health services. This isn’t just relevant for general practitioners. Mental health services, addiction recovery, and many specialists are starting to offer telehealth. But insurers and state Medicaid providers need to arrange coverage for a wider range of services. They must also commit to communicating this to patients. With a little effort, they can provide convenient therapy options for people experiencing stress and better care for those living in rural communities.

Conclusion

The Great Reset is an opportunity for us all to find our way to better health. A shift in the focus of public health priorities is already underway. There is also a clear imperative to improve the mental wellbeing of the population. As our society embraces technology, utilizing tools like telehealth can be a boost in the accessibility and equality of care. The pandemic continues to be a challenging issue, but we have a chance to move beyond it in a healthy and empowering way. 

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