Is it the beginning of the end of the pandemic? Are we evolving to the point that Covid-19 becomes endemic? We’ve learned that perhaps there are 50 new mutations of the virus and for most humans, luckily the new Omicron variant occurring in individuals who have been vaccinated, previously infected, or have minimal co-morbidities, causes relatively mild symptoms—sniffles, scratchy throat, or mild-flu like complaints.
Mutate, change, undergoing a metamorphosis, thankfully that is what has happened to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Perhaps, we are going to have a radical end to the onslaught of Covid-19 as we used to know it due to these new mutations.
Everything and anything associated with medicine and the care of patients has exponentially changed due to the pandemic, nothing has stayed the same. Healthcare, our offices, our practices, our hospitals, medical education, national organizations, and how we interface with patients (now virtually) have dramatically mutated.
To stay viable, we had to innovate and develop out of the box thinking, break out of the mold, pivot. Literally, daily there were updates, novel medical therapeutics with names I could barely pronounce, overnight applications for much needed pandemic IRB projects, and updating medical software to reflect new orders and protocols that were rapidly evolving.
We learned that health care workers also have burgeoning mental health crisis needs and we too need behavioral health care. Recognition of these needs has been long neglected in our workplace. We learned that our teams want flexibility to work from home and that they can be productive. Let’s continue to find solutions so that this trend can continue. Safety-first protocols required that many on our health care teamwork in isolated conditions during lockdowns – however we must innovatively connect to one another.
What COVID-19 taught me, was that we as a healthcare team can, and must, be agile to pivot and make U-turns. Otherwise, we risk becoming obsolete and non-functional. It showed me that change can happen quickly if we want it and need it. Long, tedious, laborious meetings with endless agenda items may not get the job done on time. This pandemic informed me that if a problem is identified and teams work together, solutions are usually easy to identify. Reshaping culture is not as easy. But Covid-19 provided us the opportunity to think out of the box and innovate. We must continue these efforts.
During the hiatus from travel, cocooning at home, and more time for a less hurried life, I had time to read, watch the national/international news, and had time for deeper conversations with colleagues and friends. Personally, I want to savor these changes. As we return perhaps to life as we previously lived, let us remember some of the positive learned lessons from the pandemic. Let’s continue to lead through change.
What will our new mutated normal look like? What lessons did you personally learn and perhaps savor? What are new growth opportunities for your practice? What will you continue to embrace? What will you discard?
Spend more time with friends and family – hopefully away from zoom, but in closer proximity to one another.