The past few months have been difficult for everyone, the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous effects on economies around the world. Thankfully, the worst of it is now behind us; the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are slowly decreasing as countries start to roll out vaccines and take steps to try and restore normal life.
While this is a step in the right direction, there is still much to be done. As we come out of the worst month of the year, here are some things we need to see for brighter days ahead.
Firstly, governments need to continue to focus on a safe and efficient vaccine rollout. Vaccines are key to ending the lockdowns and restrictions associated with the pandemic. While some countries will benefit from the mass production capabilities of pharmaceutical giants, other countries need to take action and develop their own innovative solutions to vaccinate their citizens safely and in a cost-effective way.
Secondly, governments must prioritize protection for vulnerable communities and individuals. Despite government measures to reduce the spread of the virus, the pandemic has had a disproportionate and devastating effect on certain demographics. We need to continue to develop targeted measures to protect those most affected, and provide help to those with pre-existing medical conditions, low-income households, and those with disabilities.
Thirdly, governments must take action to support economic recovery. This includes measures such as stimulus packages, tax breaks, and loan guarantees to ensure that businesses and individuals are supported throughout the crisis and beyond. We also need to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs, providing access to the resources they need to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the recovery.
Finally, governments need to commit to innovation and research. In addition to producing and administering vaccines, governments should prioritize investing in long-term research projects, to develop preventative measures for future disease outbreaks and build a more resilient healthcare system.
In short, the past few month have been challenging – but the worst of the pandemic is now behind us. We need governments to take action and invest in vaccine rollouts, protection for vulnerable populations, support for the economy, and research and innovation if we are to see brighter days ahead.