During the pandemic caused by COVID-19, many health experts have decided to transfer their habit of sharing knowledge in the search for transversal and long-term solutions for this and other similar situations that may arise in the future. The imposition of limits on social distance has led them to use tools that, although they were already known to all, have acquired an enormous role during these weeks of confinement.
I’m talking about virtual seminars, webinars, to which we receive invitations almost every day. Most head their title with the name COVID-19, followed by a challenge or solutions to a problem that has caused the pandemic in this or another part of the world.
When in many parts of the geography it seems that we have already passed the equator the cycle of greatest virulence of the disease, we begin to see that there are countries that have more effectively resisted the infectious agent.
One of those that has been a benchmark worldwide has been Portugal. In this European country of no more than 10 million inhabitants, a webinar has been organized that has drawn attention to the challenges and responses to the crisis generated by COVID-19.
Led by CESPU University with the former Portuguese Minister of Health, Adalberto Campos Fernandes, the webinar brought together health officials from some of the countries least affected by SARS-CoV-19, which translates into fewer infected people and deaths associated with the disease by number of inhabitants. It is possible to think, also, that the citizens of these areas of the world in the medium-long term less sequelae of the disease, which will result in the physical and psychological well-being of the population.
An important aspect to highlight of this webinar has not only been the description of the medical elements, but the social and economic consequences, which could lay the foundations for future statements by organizations such as the World Health Organization, as far as their protocols are concerned.
The microbiological threat had lost strength among our fears, and it seemed something of a bygone era, in which plague epidemics followed, the last reference perhaps being the 1918 influenza pandemic. This feeling was shared in regions of the world where the impact Ebola, influenza A, Zika and other SARS-Cov had been contained thanks to more or less developed health systems that have now become vulnerable and unable to prevent hundreds and hundreds of deaths every day.
On this fictitious security, we had built an unsupportive value system that affects many areas of society. From the conclusions of the webinar to which he referred arises the desire to build a new concept of society that is aware of the vulnerability of our health, economy, education, etc. which can only be mitigated if we act together.
The concept of globality, so often used as the origin of the pandemic, involves more than just traveling and transporting microbes from one part of the world to another; It means that we coordinate to act in time against these threats and share knowledge and strategies to prevent and mitigate them effectively, without causing new economic, social or political impacts of great importance to which, from this starting point, it would be very difficult. overcome in the future.
In conclusion, following the wise words of Professor Maurits van Rooijen, the huge number of the Covid-19 fatalities as expressed in the excess mortality compared to the projected average shows that the current crisis is not merely a medical one. It also demonstrates the importance that in addition to specialists, our society needs highly educated people who can identify solutions and actions beyond disciplines and think in broader ‘systems’ which is an important message to educationalists as well as politicians. And last but not least, the Covid-19 crisis has exposed how unprepared the world is for global emergencies. Yet there is one prediction one can safely make: global emergencies will become bigger and more frequent, so we better learn how to improve our preparedness.