Coming Together As A Society During A Crisis

This week’s HCLDR tweetchat is inspired by tweets from:

  • Christina Gilman @GlimanFamily – patient advocate, family caregiver to 4 kids
  • Jana Buhlmann @baldgrrl – Alopecia and mental health advocate. Volunteer Director at @PatientCritical
  • Julie Drury @SolidFooting – patient advocate, family caregiver, rare disease champion and Strategic Lead of Patient Partnerships at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI)

It’s clear that the topic of the day continues to be the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a week we have gone from free movement of people to a world of self-isolation. Yet even as we all retreat to our homes and avoid physical contact with other people, we are actually coming together as a society.

Whether it’s agreeing to work at home, avoiding going to a hospital unless absolutely necessary, forgoing travel or voluntarily shutting a business – we are doing it in part to help our local community and society as a whole.

Isn’t it ironic that a viral outbreak is showing us that we can come together in a time of crisis?

Of course, there are exceptions. There are people (they call themselves “hustlers”) who rushed out to buy up hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, toilet paper and other such items for the sole purpose of reselling them at inflated prices. Clearly these people are NOT doing things to help society, but are instead looking out for #1. [There is a term I would love to call these people, but we like to keep things clean here at HCLDR].

Thankfully companies like Amazon, Google and Kijiji are taking steps to stop these people from using their platforms to exploit the current situation.

In a similar vein there have been stories of people who are defying public health officials and continuing to travel, host/go to large group gatherings and behave as if this whole outbreak is nothing more than over-blown hype. Perhaps they believe they are in a low-risk category (young, no health issues).

As the situation gets worse and as the news stories from around the world pile up, more of these people are getting the message and practicing Social Distancing.

Now before we all throw stones, let’s be honest with ourselves. WE WERE ALL IN THAT OTHER CAMP FOR WEEKS before COVID-19 landed on North America’s shores. As China and South Korea were clamping down, we were all naively traveling around the globe, going to work sick and gathering in large groups – things that we now look upon as unwise.

Please join guest host Julie Drury @SolidFooting for this week’s #HCLDR tweetchat – Tuesday March 17th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) as we discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in a positive and constructive manner:

  • T1 How are you keeping yourself and loved ones occupied during social isolation during COVID-19?
  • T2 How could we work better as a society to get more people to see that defying the advice of healthcare experts in a pandemic is not brave but harmful? Or is it a hopeless cause?
  • T3 Virtual care has now become more readily accessible due to rapid changes in policy related to COVID19. What other unintended positive consequences for society might result?
  • T4 In our rush to contain the threat, are we overlooking the needs of patients? Are there ways we can ensure that the voice of patients isn’t lost during this pandemic?

To everyone in the HCLDR community, please stay safe. Remember to not only take care of your physical health but your mental health as well.

To all physicians, nurses, administrators and others who work in healthcare, thank you for all your hard work, sacrifice and courage in the face of this pandemic. You are appreciated and we are grateful.

Image Credit

Photo by Nicole Y-C on Unsplash

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