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Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!

The year 2020 will hold a distinct place in our collective memories as well as in history books. While many of us were aware of the great influenza epidemic of 1918, few listened when public health officials warned it could happen again. The idea of a pandemic was fodder for science fiction movies. But with hurricane strength, the invisible coronavirus forced millions of people into their homes. Calendars were cleared, leaving plenty of time to return to the basics – baking sour dough bread, cooking meals from scratch, and planting gardens. Parents found themselves working from home while simultaneously home schooling their children, a challenge only slightly eased by no longer having to commute to the office. Leaving home for any reason was stressful. Book clubs and brownie troops resorted to meeting on Zoom, while weddings and other events were cancelled. Reluctant healthcare providers and patients were left with no choice but telehealth during the peak of the pandemic. Handshaking was replaced by elbow bumps, and cloth face masks when leaving the home became a requirement in many parts of the country. As someone famously said: “To think I stayed up until midnight for this!"

Only time will tell how long-lasting the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 will be on society. Some predict that memories will fade when the coronavirus is either conquered or controlled, and we will return to life as it was in 2019 - an era that now seems relatively carefree.

The AARP (2020) predicts the following trends are here to stay:

  • Working from home
  • Telehealth
  • Online grocery shopping
  • Virtual socializing
  • Wearing face masks
  • Streaming movies
  • Frequent sanitizing of airports and planes
  • Less reliance on public transportation
  • Contact tracing through technology
  • Handwashing

Many of these trends are good for home healthcare and for the home bound patients we serve. Let's hope that 2021 brings a safe and effective vaccine. When asked what they want to do after the pandemic, most responses involved seeing and touching loved ones (Seattlepi, 2020). Virtual visits, zoom meetings, and carry-out meals filled important gaps during a very difficult time, but we all need what only human touch can provide.

Reference

AARP (2020). 10 things the pandemic has changed for good. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/coronavirus-lifestyle-effects.html

Seattlepi (2020). Life after quarantine: 50 things Americans say they'll do when the pandemic ends. https://www.seattlepi.com/coronavirus/article/life-after-quarantine-50-things-americans-will-do-15185117.php#item-85307-tbla-7

The Home HealthCare News offers up-to-date information that we want you, the subscribers of Home Healthcare Now to know about and soon! These may be government initiatives, web sites with important information, new publications, and more! If you know of an item that might fit this section e-mail Randi Davis at [email protected]