f it is a truism that every dark cloud has a silver lining, then COVID-19, despite its devastations, has definitely brought us not one, not two, not three but possibly many many silver linings to help mankind. This includes the fast discovery of vaccines.
Certainly in the area of public health, we have some learning and definitely some habits that are going to be part of our lives for some time to come. That is an assertion by some experts.
At a talk organised by the Zonta Club of Accra recently on the impact of COVID-19 on women, Dr Christine Boatemaa Mensah of the Health Link Hospital in Accra held her audience spellbound with a list of benefits that the pandemic has brought into one’s life. Here in this country alone, medical experts have acknowledged a few.
Speaking on the topic: “The impact of COVID-19, Role of women”, Dr Mensah enumerated the health benefit outcomes of the pandemic in our country.
It is gratifying to note that for almost two and a half years since the pandemic turned our world upside down and brought misery to many homes, cases of other forms of infectious diseases due to poor hygiene practices have dropped significantly.
Though she did not support her claim with statistics, Dr Mensah said the high levels of alertness and the awareness created in good personal hygiene, coupled with regular handwashing with soap under running water, necessitated by COVID-19, had seen very few people reporting to hospital or health care centres with hygiene-related diseases.
She said in our environment, diseases which were quite recurring in communities including cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery had all reduced in the last two and a half years. She explained that this could only be assigned to the good hygiene practices that many people have now adopted on a regular basis.
Quite apart from the improvement in personal hygiene, another good practice the pandemic has taught people is to concentrate on healthy and well-balanced foods. Thankfully, people have now come to know such super spices as ginger, garlic and cloves and which are described as immune boosters and are regularly using them in cooking. With COVID-19, people have become conscious of what they eat; it has influenced the daily selection of ingredients and menus by out of home caterers who have also turned to cook healthy meals in their trade.
The same goes for drinks. Many people are now pushing for naturally produced fruit juices rather than fizzy or soft drinks as often referred to.
The other good news coming out of COVID-19 is the lowering of asthma cases. With the use of masks in public places, including schools, the case of sufferers breathing in polluted air which triggers the attack has also minimised.
Overall, the level of education related to COVID-19 has helped tremendously to improve one’s living standards and healthy practices.
The use of disposable tissues and handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing has now become common, whereas it was not so in times past.
Spitting indiscriminately around and blowing noses in the open air is gradually reducing.
COVID-19 has been a curse in many homes in the last couple of years. The devastation it brought at the onset left many families and friends who lost their dear ones, broken and shattered.
However, the hard-earned lessons it has left in many minds, homes, workplaces and schools and the positive lessons imprinted in many may live with them for years to come.
COVID-19 is a curse, and a never wished for thing. However, on the flip side, it definitely has its positive sides. Lives have been dimmed by the atrocious nature of the pandemic but many more lives have also been made richer.
The question is, how does one build on the positives for the better? Pandemics come and go but are we picking up and forging ahead with those lemons thrown at us?