The COVID-19 pandemic was a major event affecting practically all countries worldwide and had major effects on different spheres. Researchers have thoroughly studied the implications of the COVID-19 virus for society, but the continuation of the pandemic still makes it an interesting topic to analyze. Based on the studies and recent data, the COVID-19 pandemic had significant political and legal implications and an impact on nursing and healthcare in general.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced governments around the world to face constant pressure, which required fast and decisive actions on their part. One of the key political matters of both local and national scale related to the pandemic was the introduction of lockdowns. Political leaders in different countries instituted lockdowns, limiting the free movement of people and preventing them from grouping together. Lockdowns were criticized because they constituted an attack on people’s basic human rights and civil liberties and even led to protests (Pleyers, 2020). A considerable political matter on a global scale was the question of making vaccination mandatory, which arose due to the high level of opposition to the idea of getting vaccinated (Rothstein et al., 2021). Essentially, the COVID-19 pandemic led not only to a high inflection rate but also to political tensions.
The origin of the virus remains a topic for discussion, but it already has had many legal implications, including lawsuits. For instance, the residents of Westchester County, a suburban part of New York, started a lawsuit against the World Health Organization (Stempel, 2021). The argument of the plaintiffs was that they became ill with the novel COVID-19 virus due to the World Health Organization’s actions of downplaying the threat of the virus. Specifically, the residents of the county alleged that the WHO ignored the early reports of the emergence of the virus in China, which led to the global spreading of the disease. A U.S. District Judge dismissed the legal case, who stated that the lawsuit involved only vague and general assumptions about the WHO (Stempel, 2021). Although the case was dismissed, it set a precedent which means that similar cases may appear in the future, especially once the pandemic ends.
One of the key global policies radically changed by the onset of the pandemic was free to travel among countries. After the start of the pandemic and the introduction of the lockdowns, the second main policy of the majority of governments was the travel ban. The implementation of travel restrictions by different nations became a historic moment since it entailed preventing millions of people from traveling abroad and even to their home countries (Sharun et al., 2020). The sole aim of the initiative was to prevent the spreading of the virus and reduce the infection rate in countries. Evidence shows that the travel ban did not have any considerable effects on the pandemic, yet it caused companies in the travel industry to suffer substantial financial losses (Sharun et al., 2020). Moreover, the policy negatively impacted individuals and entire populations since many people failed to return home or visit foreign countries.
The pandemic also had considerable effects on the healthcare system, including in terms of the responsibilities and challenges for interprofessional healthcare teams. For instance, due to social distancing rules, many physicians had to shift from in-person care to virtual delivery of services (Donnelly et al., 2020). There was a major shift from chronic physical health conditions to mental ones, so members of the interprofessional team, such as psychologists, had to receive more clients on a daily basis (Donnelly et al., 2020). Psychologists had to design therapies specific to the conditions of the pandemic, which would reflect their patients’ concerns. Finally, nursing administrators received a new responsibility of tracking the regularly changing guidelines, which they had to monitor daily and advise nurses on new rules (Refaat & Allah, 2021). Thus, members of interprofessional teams had to embrace new responsibilities and duties during the pandemic.
Nurses are among the main actors in the actions against the global pandemic, and therefore they had to assume new responsibilities. For instance, nursing specialists, apart from being engaged in constant work with COVID-19 patients, received a new duty of countering myths about the virus and vaccines (Fawaz et al., 2020). Patients and the population, in general, continue to have misconceptions about the virus, and nurses help them understand the real situation. Another considerable duty of nurses during the pandemic, especially at its beginning, was the management of scarce resources such as masks and gloves. Nurses had to utilize their existing equipment strictly and carefully to avoid excessive waste to ensure their work with inpatient clients and populations with mild symptoms. Finally, nurses also had to engage in public health policymaking campaigns to raise awareness among society and authorities about the need to seriously confront the pandemic.
The pandemic changed my life significantly because it led to many tragic events, including those which happened to the people I knew. In terms of my political stance on the pandemic, I fully support the introduction of strict measures to counter the pandemic, including mandatory vaccination for health workers. The pandemic also changed my professional life since I had to care for many COVID-19 patients and learn population-based medicine skills.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on nations and their political and healthcare systems, leading to considerable problems, including protests and lawsuits. Since the start of the pandemic, governments around the world have introduced different policies to reduce the spread of the disease, yet some people continue to oppose them. Healthcare workers had to assume new responsibilities during the pandemic and embrace new working conditions.
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Fawaz, M., Anshasi, H., & Samaha, A. (2020). Nurses at the front line of COVID-19: Roles, responsibilities, risks, and rights. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103(4), 1341–1342. Web.
Pleyers, G. (2020). The pandemic is a battlefield. Social movements in the COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of Civil Society, 16(4), 295–312. Web.
Refaat, A., & Allah, G. (2021). Challenges facing nurse managers during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to perceived organizational support. Nursing Forum, 56(3), 539–549. Web.
Rothstein, M., Parmet, W., & Reiss, D. (2021). Employer-mandated vaccination for COVID-19. American Journal of Public Health, 111(6), 1–4.
Sharun, K., Tiwari, R., Natesan, S., Yatoo, M., Malik, Y., & Dhama, K. (2020). International travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: implications and risks associated with “travel bubbles.” Journal of Travel Medicine, 27(8), 1–3. Web.
Stempel, J. (2021). WHO wins dismissal of a lawsuit in New York over pandemic response. Reuters. Web.