Given the current state of our stay at home lives, it’s hard not to let all of the negative news and updates on the pandemic bring us down. It’s difficult to keep focus and maintain normalcy. While it may be tough, we’ve got to keep our heads up and try to focus on the positives that will be coming out of these trying times. The Queen of Nashville, Dolly Parton, has a healthy perspective on dealing with misfortune and finding silver linings: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Let’s dry off and take a look at the bright side of the pandemic.
Because of the dramatic and well documented impact of hand washing, proper sneezing technique, and appropriate social distancing during the pandemic, people have become more conscious of cleanliness and preventing the spread of illnesses. This should help to contain the spread of flu in future seasons and make it safer for caregivers and their clients to work with one another going forward. The lack of social interaction (always a threat for seniors but now affecting us all) has made most of us feel extra grateful for the interactions we used to have and took for granted. Communication tools have become far more widespread, and the technology behind them is rapidly improving. From Zoom meetings, to family Facetimes, to new technologies that are created with the intent of connecting older adults to their loved ones, there is a lot to be excited about going forward. We will be more connected than ever before following this pandemic. Along with communication technologies, delivery services have become very popular and improved their scope of services. Groceries, prescriptions, and all other household items can be delivered with ease through a multitude of apps. In the future, perhaps someone with the flu or another contagious ailment will opt to have their essentials delivered to them rather than go out in public and put others’ health at risk.
The rise of telehealth and personal health monitors will surely be a game changer for caregivers and their clients. While previously focused on rural areas or specific health or mental health issues, access to medical professionals will be for a much broader array of issues, will be more immediate, and there will less time and effort spent coordinating travel to and from appointments. Hospitals will also be even safer, as already strong cleanliness and infection control standards will be further refined and improved for patient families and staff. Emergency protocols will also be improved in terms of maintaining adequate access to critical equipment, supplies and medications. As we’ve seen, seniors have been hit by far the hardest by the outbreak, as they often possess the weakest immune systems and most preexisting conditions of any demographic. Senior communities suffered many losses worldwide as the highly contagious disease penetrated the most vulnerable populations. While the sheer loss of lives is extremely tragic, there are also positive changes that will lead to a safer and healthier future for community residents. Aside from the higher standards of cleanliness and infectious disease containment, communities are also starting to implement early monitoring systems which will allow the community and health care providers to have an early warning system of potential community wide health issues. Emergency protocols have also been vastly improved at these communities. Strange as it may seem, the places which statistically were the most dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic could now become some of the safest should something like this happen again in the future.
There is no denying this has been a trying time, but we should not allow ourselves to become pessimistic for the future. We should instead focus on the positives that have also come out of it. If we use what we’ve learned, future pandemics be less likely and the general spread of many infectious diseases will lessen. If we take the broader lessons from the current hardships, we will actually gain much more than simply learning how to prevent the spreading of disease, both as individuals and as a society. Families are spending more time together than ever before. Nature is thriving. People are finding new passions and rediscovering their old passions. We should all be grateful for the people who are putting their health at risk to help others. Caregivers, nurses, doctors, and all individuals working in essential industries have been selfless in fighting this invisible monster. But even for those who aren’t on the frontlines, you can support us all in making this a safer and healthier world by looking for the colors in the sky and finding the blessings within this experience.
Guest Contributor; Cameron Tribbett Vice President / Co-Founder – Summit Senior Solutions