The word first broke about COVID-19 in early 2020. Since then, the world has continued to change and adapt alongside the many COVID variants. Likewise, the world has had to adjust to the heavy toll that COVID-19 has claimed.
The cost of COVID-19 has been high. According to the WHO, over three million deaths have been caused by COVID and COVID-related conditions. Likely, that number is higher.
Given this, it is understandable that the public’s view on global health has changed over the years. People have been forced to acknowledge that the previous pandemic plans were not strong enough and that, overall, humanity was not prepared for this level of an event.
COVID-19 and Global Health Goals
Before COVID-19 struck, people had worked hard toward universal global health goals. Unfortunately, progress toward these goals was slow due to a lack of involvement and funding. For example, between 2000 and 2019, the average life expectancy went up from 66.8 to 73.3.
Likewise, there was minimal progress toward universal health coverage. Some countries reported that individuals paid between ten and twenty-five percent of their budget for health care.
How will the pandemic change these numbers? Experts are still struggling to find out. However, the bright side is that many people are now more aware of the cost of these problems. The more open these complications are, the more likely something can be done about it.
Realistically, the arrival of COVID-19 will slow these goals down even further. However, many hope it will reinvigorate the fight, gaining new funding and traction. While funds were higher for a time, it is challenging to predict how long this will continue.
A Reexamination of Supplies and Preparedness
If the pandemic taught humanity one thing, it’s that we are not fully prepared. Countries worldwide struggled to supply enough PPE for healthcare workers, hand sanitizer availability was limited, and global distribution of vaccines was a struggle.
In response to these struggles, people have begun to step up. Philanthropists are donating more money than ever to the healthcare system. We saw companies stop production of their products and instead create more PPE for those that needed it.
All of this is to say that people are trying to learn from past mistakes. COVID-19 forced humanity to take a good and hard look at reality, and many people are stepping up. Unfortunately, just as many people are still pretending that the pandemic doesn’t exist, creating an even more significant divide between the two mindsets.