HomeHealthInterpreting the World Health Organization's declaration that the coronavirus is no longer...

Interpreting the World Health Organization’s declaration that the coronavirus is no longer a worldwide health emergency

World Health Organization experts have officially declared that Covid is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (Pheic).

This is in line with the new WHO strategy to move from emergency response to sustainable long-term management of COVID-19.

In practice, this may make little difference. COVID will remain a pandemic, and countries will still decide whether to consider COVID as an emergency in their territory (some countries, including the United States, have already declared an end to the national emergency).

However, for the global public health community, this event is of great importance as the end of the emergency response period, which began on January 30, 2020, approaches.

Meanwhile, for a significant portion of the general public, it may go relatively unnoticed. For many people, it has been a long time since they considered Covid an emergency.

Simon Nicholas Williams, professor of psychology at Swansea University, has been following the public experience of the pandemic for the past three years.

The results have yet to be reviewed, but by the summer of 2022, many participants described the pandemic as “a distant memory” or “it never happened.”

As we move into the next phase, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned about human behavior during the pandemic and what happens next.

Old habits die hard

In the early days of the pandemic, many behavioral scientists, including Williams, wondered if some of our pandemic habits would remain. Will masks become a wardrobe staple? Will people stop recruiting and go to work when they get better?

It turns out that for most people, the pandemic did not permanently change our behavior and habits or create a “new normal.”

Social distancing is long gone, except for a relatively small percentage of the population, especially those most vulnerable to contracting Covid. The COVID pandemic has taught us what adaptive behavior can be and, in particular, how willing people are to change their behavior to keep themselves and others safe.

And most people followed the rules in the midst of a pandemic, no matter how difficult they were. And Covid has reminded us how resilient we as humans can be.

These epidemiological adaptations, and the fact that our pre-pandemic behaviors have recovered so quickly, shows just how important social cues and behavioral norms can be.

Wearing a mask or distancing from others was a habit — actions triggered automatically in response to contextual cues, such as seeing signs with pictures of people who were socially distancing.

The pandemic has also shown how important social connections and social contacts are, especially physical ones. And it is something that has already been discussed that Covid cannot remain in critical condition forever.

According to social security theory, which sees stress and well-being as a product of biological, psychological and social factors, Covid poses a threat to “the social fabric that makes people resilient and keeps them alive and healthy.”

Not surprisingly, life satisfaction and happiness were at their lowest levels during lockdown and recovered when people started socializing again.

The state of emergency is not over for everyone

As we mark the end of the emergency phase, it is important to remember the nearly 7 million lives lost to COVID-19 since 2020.

Of course, we must keep in mind that for some, especially those at clinical risk, the emergency is not over and may never be.

And Covid is still responsible for millions of infections and thousands of deaths every week around the world. Also thanks to the “long Covid”, hundreds of millions of people are in need of long-term care.

In the future, we need to move from relying on the resilience of individuals to building the resilience of our organizations. We can all take steps to continue to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses (such as washing our hands and getting vaccinated).

But the responsibility for averting a public health emergency should not rest solely with the public. Actions that governments, employers and health authorities can take now can protect against public health emergencies in the future.

Systematically combating misinformation, improving ventilation in schools, workplaces and other enclosed public spaces, and making long-term improvements to paid sick leave are good ways to start building more resilient societies in preparation for the next pandemic.

Source: Science Alert

Follow World Weekly News on

Sandra Loyd
Sandra Loyd
Sandra is the Reporter working for World Weekly News. She loves to learn about the latest news from all around the world and share it with our readers.

Leave a Reply

Must Read