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What lesson has the Coronavirus Pandemic been teaching us regarding the medical fraternity?​

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On this day a year ago, we all welcomed 2020 and it all started on a positive note. We all nodded in unison that the term ‘2020’ has certain ring to it, celebrations hit a new high, pinning greater hopes on vision 2020.

And in January, when the world first woke up to the news of Coronavirus outbreak - a lethal and super contagious infection at Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, in Wuhan China – life seemed still normal. The news started sinking in only after World Health Organisation called it COVID-19 and announced it as a pandemic later in February. Well, till then the word ‘pandemic’ was quite alien to most of us but now it became one of the most familiar terms that was perhaps learnt in the last two decades. By mid-March, the lockdown was imposed in almost all countries, with air travel suspended, with world staring at the curveball – the pandemic had thrown us at.Now even at the doorsteps of 2021, the COVID-19 is still ongoing on and it is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that presents with highly variable symptoms from being asymptomatic to great difficulty in breathing, hypoxia or lower oxygen saturation, anosmia or loss of smell, loss of taste and can lead to respiratory dysfunction, multiorgan failure in severe cases. It can affect all age groups, genders but people with previous history of respiratory illnesses, comorbid conditions, above 60 years of age are more vulnerable.

The infection that spreads through via air droplets that get expelled during cough, sneeze and contaminated surfaces has caused public health emergency of international concern, bringing the world to a screeching halt, toppling economies, forcing public to get cooped up at homes.

Social distancing, wearing masks, dousing palms in hand sanitizers is the new normal, with work from home, online classes becoming an order of the day.

As on December 30, 2020 the world recorded 81.9 million cases, an alarming number of 1.79 million deaths. However, like in many crises this world had witnessed so far in the history, we are hopeful of a silver lining. Thanks to doctors, scientists, researchers and other frontline workers from the medical fraternity vaccination is all set to be a reality now and the number of recoveries is currently at 46.3 million and counting. The news of new variant is already making rounds, but the scientists are hopeful that the vaccine should be able to handle all mutant strains in the new year.

Even as we step into 2021, in next few hours let us try and put the bad memories of 2020 behind lest not forget those health lessons to be followed in many years to come.

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