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COVID-19 Rising Human Tragedy That Has Affected Thousands of People

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Introduction – This past three months, many have deemed the COVID-19 virus. First and foremost,COVID-19 can be defined precisely as a rising human tragedy that has affected thousands of people. As the pandemic continues to cause havoc on the wellbeing of individuals, its effects on the global economy continue. More than 175 countries have reported cases of COVID-19, a virus that has mutated enough to zoonotic transfer from animals to humans. As more nations begin to feel the impact of the pandemic, more and more diseases and, as a result, deaths are recorded daily. Some regions have a handful of cases, while others have hundreds of cases.

Currently, the most alarming death tolls are reported in Italy and Spain, while the United States is leading the way in the number of infections. No one is sure about what’s yet to come, but it is painfully clear that some hospitals and health systems around the country have had a huge impact. For example, at least 150 hospitals had to pick up or drop staff, decrease medical salaries, and reduce benefits. As the world grapples with coping with the overwhelming crisis, COVID-19 has dealt a significant blow to many industries, especially the medical industry. While pandemics are not new to the world, Coronavirus has sparked a global debate on health services.

Geographical effects – Under the situation of COVID-19 in the world, the healthcare industry is bound to be the guarantee of the life safety of people all over the world. Combining with previous data, we analyzed the development level of healthcare industry in different regions by country/region. The Healthcare Access and Quality Index, or HAQ, measures mortality rates from 32 diseases that should not have died under effective care. The index ranges from 0 to 100 (more blue), with higher scores indicating better access and quality of health care. The following legend shows the horizontal distribution of HAQ in different countries in 2015.

On the whole, the medical capacity of countries in the world is roughly related to the level of national economic development. According to the figure above, HAQ is strongest in northern Europe, North America, Oceania and other economically developed regions, followed by Latin America, eastern Europe, Arab region and east Asia including China, Japan and South Korea. The countries at the end of the medical quality level are mainly distributed in Africa, southeast Asia and South Asia. On the other hand, most of these countries with higher HAQ correspond to higher levels of per capita income and lower population size or density.

For example, Australia, Canada and other countries are characterized by their large area and small population. However, in this COVID-19, the world-leading healthcare capabilities were not in time to become the protective umbrella of many European and American countries. For example, Italy ranks among the world’s top 10 countries in terms of medical capacity, with a total of 201,505 confirmed cases.Furthermore, the United States (1010,507 cases), Spain (229,422 cases), Germany (158,849 cases) and other severely affected countries also ranked high in medical capacity (cumulative confirmed cases as at 4/28/2020,the exact number is subject to the facts ).

But this does not mean that the development of COVID-19 in countries is negatively correlated with their medical capacity because the current development of the healthcare industry has not dealt with this situation. As a result, even those countries with the world’s leading health care industry are weak in the face of this sudden outbreak, making the geographical advantages of previously constructed healthcare less obvious.

Industry effect – Since the discovery of the first case of novel Coronavirus, the number of confirmed cases has been increasing, which is characterized by extremely high infectivity, large population involved, and sizeable short-term impact force. We don’t know what will happen next, but obviously, the healthcare industry around the world has been dramatically affected. The outbreak of COVID-19 has continuously raised the public’s demand for medical materials and digital medical care, and at the same time has an increase in the capital market’s attention to the pharmaceutical and health industry, thus further increasing the state and the public’s investment in the field of medical and health care.

Also, COVID-19 pandemic has affected service enterprises. The short-term negative impact of offline companies is more significant, mainly due to delayed resumption of work and customer flow. For example, 216 hospitals furloughing workers in response to COVID-19 resulted in lower doctors’ salaries and reduced benefits(Hospital CFO report). In general, COVID-19 has pushed up the demand for drugs and medical prevention and control materials in a short period, resulting in a relatively significant increase in demand for epidemic prevention drugs, medical devices, diagnostic reagents, and other related products. The sales revenue of the healthcare industry and pharmaceutical circulation increase, which will benefit pharmaceutical enterprises that produce and sell the products for epidemic prevention and control.

It will also bring development opportunities to pharmaceutical retail and e-commerce enterprises. The medium and long-term impact will depend on further reforms in the field of medicine and health after the epidemic ends. Besides, due to the suspension of some work, the economy of the healthcare industry has suffered some losses. To stabilize the financial stability of the healthcare industry during the pandemic, the welfare of employees and employees was cut. Therefore, the current development of Coronavirus has led to certain economic losses and expanded the overall demand for health care resources in all walks of life.

Future Predictions – Trying to picture a world after the COVID-19 pandemic may be difficult and different then what it was before the outbreak occurred. Focusing on the healthcare industry we are likely to see. From an economic standpoint companies are going to see substantial decreases in their revenues for the fiscal year that will be bound to impact organizational long-term goals. This is because many hospitals were recommended by the CDC to discontinue elective surgeries and select care in preparation for the influx of patients, clearing out hospital units. Some struggling companies may not be able survive due to the reliance of these procedures for income especially in rural areas and post acute settings that saw major decreases in census and make low monthly profit margins as is.  New entrants to the market may emerge. Many automotive companies began making ventilators such as Tesla and GM, people at home making/selling masks. It is likely some of these new entrants could stay providing new entrant competition for established companies.

A new global arms race will begin over a COVID-19 vaccine. The patent right to a vaccine will be extremely valuable and provide competitive advantage globally for a period of time. US companies and officials have already begun to see this unfold as laboratories, and clinics/hospitals are experiencing data security breaches in which some say are being traced back to countries such as Europe and China. It is likely that the US could undertake these measures as well in an effort to get ahead, hindering international relationships. Shortages of PPE and other life-sustaining equipment could mean nations will increase their stockpiles or coalition affiliation to higher levels than previously held. N95 masks were a leading topic for healthcare professionals, with the best protection against COVID-19 they were surprisingly unavailable.

Even if stock was in supply, health departments were unable to fit-test the masks, a necessary safety step. Some masks intended to be used once were unsafely being used for multiple, consecutive days. Although it is difficult to picture, COVID-19 will change how counties operate, and how the healthcare industry will in the coming years, months, or even days.

Differences of opinion- One of the hardest aspects to COVID-19 expands beyond the scientific nature to overcoming such a harmful disease. While medical experts all advise populations to remain home and practice social distancing, some experts are beginning to speak up from other areas of interest. Primarily, these experts represent an economical interest and argue that our population cannot wait any longer to keep the economy closed. This difference of opinion has caused dispute amongst thought leaders on the best practices going forward. Included in businesses that are hurting financially from COVID-19 are Hospitals and Medical Providers. This is due to a lack of income from surgeries and care, in precaution of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Some experts have advised that re-opening the economies must happen in stages, with each stage having to “pass” guidelines to prove it is working. This is the policy that President Trump recently advised, but some states are pushing the boundaries on what is advised or possible. In particular Georgia is aiming to be one of the fastest moving economies to open back up. According to an article published by CNN (Arman Azad, 1) many leaders argue that Georgia may be opening too fast. Even President Trump, who is a strong supporter for re-opening the economies, was quoted stating that Georgia’s plan is “just too soon.”

Georgia’s approach to reopening the state economy supersedes the actions being taken by other states. A common approach that states, like Texas and Minnesota, are taking is a phased approach that only opens certain businesses at a time with restriction. Georgia takes things a step farther by opening up gyms, hair salons, and other high personal interaction businesses. This is not the common approach being taken by other states as these businesses are among the last to open. There is thought that similar differences in opinion will continue to emerge, as decisions for re-opening are handled at state and local levels- leaving room for dispute and discussion. This difference in opinion seems to boil down to health of the population vs. health of the economy; and where the optimal balance lies.

Conclusion – The longer the US lasts, the greater the economic damage. Businesses will endure a brief period of time without clients, longer with the relief bill passed by Congress. Yet repeated shutdowns are becoming increasingly painful. The relief checks will be completed as time passes. And without access to credit, medical offices or businesses may shut down permanently. However, there are other threats that a long recession presents to health care staff and organizations. Permanent work injuries lead to a decrease in employer-provided insurance coverage. More citizens would be uninsured or on Medicaid, where the rates of payment are lower. And as state and local budgets are stretched thin, governments will likely respond with cuts in Medicaid fees and lower payments from the insurance plans of public sector workers. These changes may stay in force for years.On both the health and economic fronts, therefore, the situation of the healthcare industry is fraught with peril. So, the healthcare industry must adjust physically and fiscally to COVID-19 crisis.

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