Year : 2020 | Volume
: 38 | Issue : 2 | Page : 97-
COVID-19 – “The game changer” of the real world
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra
|How to cite this article:|
Baliga S. COVID-19 – “The game changer” of the real world.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2020;38:97-97
|How to cite this URL:|
Baliga S. COVID-19 – “The game changer” of the real world. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 21 ];38:97-97
Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2020/38/2/97/288223
Today, the “Novel Coronavirus-19” or COVID-19, the face of the brewing pandemic has created a challenging situation affecting millions of people worldwide. The changes brought about by the virus have led to a reorientation or reordering of not only the economy, but also the health care, relationships, lifestyles, and more.
Several efforts have been underway to curb the spread of this virus spanning from social distancing to creating awareness about the hand hygiene, coughing, and sneezing etiquettes. In general, the target population for the virus has been the elderly and those with any serious underlying comorbidities affecting systemic health. Younger individuals and children have been regarded as the subpopulation affected with milder symptoms, nevertheless may be crucial to the spread of the disease as asymptomatic carriers.
As with other crisis faced in the pandemics that occurred in the historical times, whether it was the Spanish flu or the Ebola outbreak in Africa as early as 2014, interruption of education affected millions of children due to mass closure of schools, a radical measure taken to contain the spread of the contagion. In addition, during the Ebola outbreak, the children were deprived of basic amenities such as school meal programs and exhibited a tendency toward dropping out from schools even after the outbreak period. Due to lack of social contact and communication, the normal developmental activities were impacted. Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 192 countries have shut schools in an effort to contain the spread, disrupting the education of nearly 1.5 billion children, worldwide. Intuitively, this containment although beneficial to interfere with the contagious cycle may also have an impact on the life of children as they are in a dynamic phase of learning, growth, and development. Therefore, activities that support child development including interactions with little ones such as those that facilitate back and forth interactions, building social connections, and creating mindfulness should be encouraged.
As we look forward to easing of lockdown, like all other professions, COVID has described a new normal for dental professionals as well. Pediatric dentistry is no different. We have already seen closedown of clinics and dental hospitals as prescribed by the lockdown norms. Adhering to the concept of social distancing, people seeking dental treatment, unless for emergency treatment, have lessened in number. On the other hand, there is also an increased frustration for dental practitioners who are unable to tender care for their patients.
The “return to the normal” may be slow and challenging, both physically and emotionally. In addition, the financial burden presented by lockdowns also needs to be considered. Newer working ways need to be devised so that ease of work is established and at the same time, social distancing should be maintained. Long distance consultations may help in reassuring the nervous patients. The initially reduced aerosol-generating procedures such as examinations and extractions would be reintroduced keeping in mind the extended timelines wherein the child has not been able to seek dental care.
The need of the hour today is to accept this challenging situation as an opportunity to build a system more accessible to all, a system with prevention at its core. This could be the foreseeable future, at least for another 2 to 3 more coming years.