In 2009, researchers publishing in The Lancet defined health as ‘the ability of a body to adapt to new threats and infirmities’. This definition is especially relevant today as the world combats one of its biggest transformative challenges, the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past few decades modern science has taken significant strides in the awareness of disease, by understanding how it works, and discovering new ways to slow it down or to stop it. This Future Shock series looks at how the prevailing threat of infection, disease and death is a frightening time for the human race. A worldwide virus attack has shut down cities, big and small, and even entire countries. With all of us watching the headlines and wondering, “What is going to happen next?”, it is pertinent to look at how we will view health in the future. For many people, the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We don’t know how exactly we’ll be impacted or how bad things might get. And that makes it all too easy to catastrophize and spiral out into overwhelming dread and panic.
In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health with a phrase that modern authorities still apply. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. In 1986, the WHO made further clarifications, and redefined health as “A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities”. But health today has a bigger dimension, that of wellness. Wellness is the active process of becoming aware of, and making choices towards, a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness; it a dynamic process of change and growth “… a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential”, as The National Wellness Institute defines it.
UC Davis has very concise explanations of different dimensions of Wellness:Emotional wellness relates to understanding one’s feelings and coping effectively with stress; which really means paying attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner resources & strength so that one can learn and grow through life experiences.
Financial wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage finances – incomes and expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health. Financial stress is a common source of stress, anxiety and fear.
Occupational wellness is about enjoying one’s occupational endeavors and appreciating one’s own contributions thereto to family and society. This dimension of wellness encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment of one’s life through work, creating and in fact adding to, self-esteem and self-worth. High self-worth adds to self-perception of good health.
Social wellness helps one perform one’s social roles effectively and comfortably, and helps create a support network of friends & family. This dimension of wellness allows development of encouraging relationships with peers, as also intimate relationships with romantic partners. Social well being provides good stimulation to overall feeling of being healthy and happy.
Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This realm encourages us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and one’s personal environment. Strong environmental consciousness raises awareness for healthy living.
Intellectual wellness involves having an open mind when one encounters new ideas, and continuing to expand one’s knowledge. It encourages active participation in scholastic, cultural and community activities: stimulating mental health and peace.
Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. Physical health is attained through exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and paying attention to the signs of illness and getting help when needed. Physical goodness is synonymous for most with good health.
Spiritual wellness allows one to develop a set of values that help in seeking personal meaning and purpose. Spirituality can be represented in many ways: through relaxation or religion. Being spiritually well means knowing which resources to use to cope with issues that come up in everyday life.
Health and wellness have been severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Loss of lives has been coupled with loss of livelihoods – both traumatic in their own ways. Both having a debilitating effect on health and morale. Evidence and experience from before points to the fact that epidemics commonly cause negative psychological responses in people, e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and these issues do not simply disappear after a crisis has passed.
So in looking at health, and its future trends post the pandemic, we will take a more holistic approach to the subject, and include the overall ‘health and wellness’ domain in the scope of our analysis. We will also look at influencing factors – especially macro factors like the higher likelihood of impact on the older and ageing population, increase in chronic diseases and co-morbidities, rising health care costs and enhanced demand for product transparency – all of which are likely to strongly influence consumer needs and behavior in healthcare, going forward.
So what are the likely trends in health and wellness in the future, post Covid-19? Let us take a look:
1. Jaan hai to jahaan hai: If there’s life, then there’s the world. PM Narendra Modi kind of drilled the ‘Jaan hai to jahaan hai’ credo into the active consciousness of an entire nation during one of his lockdown broadcasts on TV. Survival is a precursor, a pre-requisite to having a life. Going forward, this thought of survival before all else will dominate the thinking of most people around us. Health – actually precaution and prevention – will become an important theme in our daily lives. Social distancing is the new mantra with ‘do gaz ki doori hai zaroori’ becoming a must while interacting socially, working at the office or going out shopping. Already masks have become a mandate, enforceable by law in most cities. The same habit forming is likely to happen with gloves. Good eating places will ensure that their staff wear hair nets or chef caps. ‘No contact’ in deliveries is already becoming the norm. People are almost getting maniacal about hand-washing and use of sanitisers. Isolation, quarantine, containment are all new additions to our health lexicon. It won’t be too long before the PM’s slogan gets watered down a bit to ‘jaan bhi jahaan bhi’ and some of the caution gets diluted but for now health sensitivities will remain sharp and strong.
And yes, by the way, Dr.Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the U.S., even thinks that we should never shake hands again. So maybe the world will embrace the Indian ‘namaste’ or the Japanese ‘ojigi’ (bow) or even adopt the ‘Vulcan salutation’, the classic, defining, iconic gesture in Star Trek as the world evolves tomorrow?
2. Google searches for health and related subjects will increase exponentially. Anosmia, or ‘loss of smell’, started to become one of the most searched on Google at the onset of the pandemic. Subsequently, in the US, four states with the highest search for ‘I can’t smell’ also became the highest to report Covid 19 cases. In Italy too, ‘non seno odori’ or ‘I can’t smell’, medically termed as ‘anosmiam’, as a symptom spiked in Searches well ahead of the virus taking its toll of that country. So, Search, and self-awareness will become a critical part of health and well-being in the times to come. In the past 4 months, searches for ‘gym membership’ had a cliff fall while searches for ‘yoga at home’ surged exponentially. In India, “What is plasma therapy for coronavirus?” and “Is AC safe during coronavirus?” were among the Top 5 trending questions on Google. In the future, we are therefore looking at a better self-informed individual who seeks, digests and analyzes information on health issues.
3. The doctor will no longer be the only source of information on health: As per the Nielsen’s Strategic Health Perspectives survey, more and more people are turning to a variety of digital platforms to understand their health problems and concerns. Digital platforms are amplifying consumer actions – enabling and ultimately shifting the way they think about finding and internalizing new information. Google, as mentioned above, remains the No. 1 destination for health queries. But, interestingly, medical websites, hospital websites, YouTube, Facebook, pharma websites and Twitter feature pretty high as credible destinations for information, fact-hunting, statistics and opinions. What is of note is that friends & family do not feature in the above list … health is a very personal concern for most. And the doctor comes into the picture only at a much later stage of the health trip, perhaps only when there is reasonable certainty that professional help and intervention is now required.
4. Wearables and apps will gain traction. ‘The Untouchable’ band is one of the latest wearables, which came into existence in the market during the corona virus pandemic. Basically, it is a band specially made for Covid-19 i.e. it is a special band which helps one get rid of unconscious habits like that of touching one’s face. This band helps one in training one’s mind by giving a mild vibration whenever one touches one’s face at any moment of time. This band also helps in changing the wearer’s many other behaviours like nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking and more. This band basically helps one to get rid of personal habits which are thought to be spreading the disease around the world. The Untouchable band also comes with another worthy feature – that of noting down the body temperature continuously.
There is more happening on this front. ‘e-skin’, one of the latest wearables, is basically Lycra-style clothing, filled with sensors that handle the work of many fitness wearables all at once. For example, Xenoma launched an e-skin prototype in collaboration with Hugo Boss recently, specifically designed to track all kinds activity during an athletic outing or any game (the test was focused on golf) – all ready data for self-monitoring and self-assessment, as well as to help doctors remotely track patient health. A sports bra which consists of an inbuilt heart rate monitor, a ring that doubles as an oxymeter, even smart shoes are now part of the health armoury of consumers who will use IoT to its maximal.
The Aarogya Setu app, made compulsory by the government for its employees and also a must for travel, is also now mandatory for delivery boys and other mobile intermediaries. Aarogya Setu continuously collects data on the location of the user and cross-references it with the Central government’s database to understand whether the user has come into contact with an infected person. Such apps are only the beginning.
5. Building immunity will be the new mantra. One of the crucial shields against Covid-19, and other against diseases in the future, is to get patients to build good immunity levels so as to be able to fight the infection better. Many home remedies, many magic formulae, many wonder foods will get tried in the quest to strengthen the body against infections and invasions. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), for example, are drumming up much PR and publicity over recent weeks saying that a fair dose of millet intake could help people boost immunity levels, which would come in handy in any fight against the virulent Novel Coronavirus. Millets (lately known as nutricereals) are nutritionally superior to major cereals (wheat and rice) for carbohydrate and energy, and serve as a good source of protein, high dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and micronutrients. Finger millet grains contain essential minerals such as calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P) and vitamins. Pearl millet grains contain Fe, which is the highest (6.4 mg/100 g) among various cereals. Millet is rich in resistant starch, soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, minerals, and antioxidants … blah blah blah … The protein content of proso millet is significantly richer in essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and methionine) than wheat protein … Probiotic foods from millets are rich in phytochemicals including phytic acid and phytates, which are known to have lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer … blah blah blah … the gut microbiota includes bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. The anti-inflammatory property of millets could well be suited to prevent environmental enteropathy and inflammatory bowel disease. Millet is not the only suitor for better immunity. Many more will try for a significant mindshare of the consumer for better health and a shield of protective immunity. And consumers, not surprisingly, will bite.
6. Immune Supplements will see an uptick. It is estimated that it takes about 66-days for someone to acquire a new habit and continue doing it when not coerced. Certainly, Covid-19 and social distancing has had consumers rethinking their health habits and it’s reflected in purchase priorities. The purchase of immune supplements is going to see a significant uptick. Data shows that 17 of the top 20 vitamin category products are immune-related. The top 500 vitamin products are dominated by C, D, and multivitamins with immune support. 57% of the top 100 fastest growing vitamin products are vitamin C. More people are likely to turn to vitamins and supplements to try and stay healthy.
7. Organic Foods will reign. As per an Assocham study, the Indian organic market stood at a little over Rs 1,200 crore last year. This year the market is expected to cross Rs 2,000 crore because of the health insecurities stoked by the corona contagion. People are clinging to the health bennies intrinsic to organic food – they are free from pesticides and chemicals and considered to be safe, healthy and nutritious. Not only India, the world is clamouring for organic food. As per APEDA statistics, Indian organic exports were Rs. 5,151 crore last year. They are expected to double in the year ahead.
8. Prevention through alternate medicine, especially Ayurveda. Modern allopathic medicine does not have much to offer in terms of hope, or a cure, or a vaccine for now in the current fight against corona. But interestingly, the Government of India’s Ministry of AYUSH recommends many self-care guidelines for preventive health measures. Ayurveda, says the official website of AYUSH, has an extensive knowledge base on preventive care, derived from the concepts of “Dinacharya” – daily regimes and “Ritucharya” – seasonal regimes to maintain a healthy life. The recommendations for self-care centre around three action points: 1. Drink warm water throughout the day 2. Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and meditation for atleast 30 minutes per day 3. Use Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander), and Lahsun (Garlic) in cooking. Many of us may tend to laugh off these seemingly simplistic suggestions, but large numbers are impacted, and will continue to be guided by these largely harmless do-it-yourself measures. The popularity of such ‘preventive’ solutions can be gauged by the multiple numbers of Whatsapp messages received daily by each of us, signaling both trust and mass acceptance of ‘age-old’ traditional formulas to good health.
9. Homeopathy will find enhanced franchise. With a very large number of police personnel in the state testing positive for Covid-19, and numbers rising every day, the Maharashtra Police last month advised its personnel to take homeopathy medicines as a preventive measure. The state police force procured Arsenicum Album-30 and Camphor 1m for more than two lakh of its employees, and their families. Four pellets of Camphor 1m were asked to be taken twice a day for two days on an empty stomach. The dose was to be repeated a month later. Personnel posted in areas with high incidence of infections were advised to take one dose of four pellets daily for four to five days, while those with symptoms of Covid-19 were advised to consult doctors for the correct dosage. The advisory added that Camphor 1m is also safe for children. Arsenicum Album-30 too can be used as an adjuvant in Covid-19 treatment, say homeopaths, but not as a standalone medicine right now. Homoeopathic medicines, because they are not antigenic herbal medicines, will not produce an antibody against a virus, but they will enhance the cellular immunity at the basic level say practitioners. So, the medicine Arsenicum Album that has been given as a prophylactic for corona, will most likely increase the cellular immunity level. Homoeopathy is said to increase the self-healing powers of the body and works in a holistic way. In the future, the ‘holistic healing’ appeal of homeopathy will find greater patronage.
10. Lifestyle Health, a new consciousness. Continuing high levels of human development across the globe, especially the rapid pace of mankind’s ‘progress’, would have soon required Man to inhabit 2-4 planets, not just one Earth (Elon Musk be blessed for planning life on Mars!). Covid-19 has forced a significant lifestyle change, especially with billions around the globe forced into lockdowns.
For years, doctors, sociologists and economists have worked on defining “Life Efficiency” … a ratio of Happy Life Years (product of well-being and life expectancy) over the Ecological Footprint. Or simply, mankind’s ability to convert environmental destruction into happiness and longevity. Western consumerist lifestyles have greatly inflated environmental impact for little or no incremental gain in happiness. Experts say an ideal sustainable footprint is 1.7 hectares/person. With a life efficiency of less than 10 Happy Life Years/ Hectare. On past averages, rich nations would have been barely able to eke out 15 Happy Life Years per citizen in a sustainable world.
The Covid pandemic will force major lifestyle changes … a more vegetarian diet, less travel, more meditation, more ‘me’ time … a new beginning in pursuing ‘lifestyle health’.
11. Mental Health a serious concern. The social and economic fissures exposed by the pandemic will result in mass unemployment, depleted social safety nets, starvation, increase in gender-based violence, homelessness, alcoholism, loan defaults and millions slipping into poverty. This post-Covid landscape will be a fertile breeding ground for an increase in chronic stress, anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence, and self-harm, leading to an overall rise in morbidity, suicides and the number of disability-adjusted life years linked to mental health.
After the stock market crash of 1929, the suicide rate in the United States (US) rose 50%; to 18.1 per 100,000 from the 12.1 per 100,000 from 1920 to 1928 and stayed at 15.4 per 100,000 between 1930 and 1940. In 2008, researchers from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine noted an extra 10,000 “economic suicides” across the US, Canada and Europe, due to the financial crisis. These suicides were attributed to the economic hardships post-recession. In India, at-risk populations include the 150 million with pre-existing mental health issues, Covid-19 survivors, frontline medical workers, young people, differently abled people, women, workers in the unorganised sector, the unending migrants trudging home and the elderly.
For a country with the highest number of poor and malnourished, and individuals with depression and anxiety, this is the perfect storm. How many suicides can we expect? India reported 1,34,516 suicides in 2018. Most independent estimates are far more. The World Health Organization (WHO) pegged India’s 2016 suicides at 215,872, with a suicide rate of 16.5 suicides, against the global suicide rate of 10.5. Expect a bigger carnage on this front in the days ahead.
12. Occupational Health will demand attention. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, occupational safety and health will take on even greater importance. A large share of the world’s population spends a great portion of their day at work, and continues to do so for a great portion of their lives. This means that work environments and workplaces have a strong impact on living conditions, general well-being and the health of dependent families too. Occupational safety and health is a core aspect of decent work, and as such, will increasingly need to be universally guaranteed. Workers around the world will want to be able to feel safe in their workplaces, reassured that they are not exposed to undue risks of the virus, and more. In India this is going to be a very big ask, difficult to address for 90% of employers with historically cramped and unhealthy workplaces.
13. Telemedicine will surge. Technology solutions that could lessen, and alleviate, the strain of this pandemic, primarily telemedicine, do already exist. But there has really been no overt and visible push to implement telemedicine widely and effectively. Secure communication systems that allow doctors to connect with patients in any location exist. Technologies to conduct remote diagnostics exist. Cloud platforms that allow storage of patient records exist. Remote testing methodologies exist.
It needed a crisis to trigger large-scale trial and acceptance. Well, the corona crisis is that trigger. Patient acceptance, physician cooperation, and legal & liability issues have all got fast-forwarded. Doctors and nurses who have been risking their lives on the front lines will demand newer ways to treat patients. Concurrently, with social distancing now a universal norm, the general public will insist on new technologies that don’t force them to visit hospitals or clinics. So, telemedicine is here to stay and grow at a really fast clip.
14. Hi-tech to hi-touch technology: Much is going to change in medicine. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), on which the patient’s vital signs are monitored and stored, will help doctors to access the health statistics and vital data of a patient, over time. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will allow agglomeration of patient data, its comparison, its benchmarking and its rapid deployment in situations like the current pandemic, based on the learnings from thousands of like-profiled patients. Big Data sciences can help in recording, and quick retrieval, and analysis, of community profiles running back into many years, offering trends and patterns for analysis. 5G networks are not far away. They will provide broader and many times faster bandwidth for video interaction, and 3D/4D imaging. Mixed Reality Glasses (MEG) will allow remote examination of patients almost in a real life experience. These may all seem ‘cool’ futuristic technologies but their deployment for providing access to healthcare-for-all, affordably and efficiently, will be a reality sooner than we think.
15. Implantables will become a common reality. The future is not very far for Implantables which can be inserted under the skin and will monitor a patient’s vitals … recording 24*7 the patient’s temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, and glucose. More importantly these devices will relay minute-by-minute data to the doctor remotely. The device can also be programmed to release medicines into the bloodstream or become a micro-reservoir for pre-mediated therapeutic dosages. The medical possibilities for intelligent, internet-enabled medical devices are vast, with the current global market itself is said to be worth US$163bn. But these are more wearables. Implants will explode the number manifolds. Surgically implanted pacemakers and hearing devices are already a reality. Diabetes is the next near frontier. The medical world of tomorrow will be highly tech-driven and far more than ‘skin-deep’.
16. Greater AI in Health. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool in the time to fight against Covid-19. The technology is used to train computers to leverage big data-enabled models for pattern recognition, interpretation, and prediction using Machine Learning, NLP and Computer Vision. These applications can be effective to diagnose, envision, and treat Covid-19 disease, and they can also assist in managing socio-economic impacts. Since the pandemic spreads quickly, there has been a rush to explore and deploy AI to cure and address the soaring demand of patient treatment infected by coronavirus. The day is not far when there will be smart field hospitals staffed largely by robots, which deliver medicine and food to patients, limiting physician exposure to the virus.
17. Increased use of Robotics. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the future, without doubt. To contain the spread of the disease, returning travelers from abroad will need to be tested for the virus and contact tracing done for long periods of time. Who went where, who came into contact with whom, and who was ill will all remain pertinent questions. The simplest way to capture information such as temperature, symptoms, and location is through RPA. In workplaces too, with thousands of employees, capturing that information would be difficult to do manually, but a software robot would make the job a cinch. We will also see robots more in ‘contactless delivery’ of medicines and food to patients in isolation in hospitals. Their deployment in surgeries and operation theatres is beyond my expertise, but suffice it to say that hospitals will use robots wherever human contact can be minimized more for safety, rather than greater precision and accuracy which were the lead considerations earlier.
18. Health Tourism will abate. Instead doctors will fly. Medical Tourism industry was one of the first few businesses to get impacted with country lockdowns and grounded airplanes the world over; and possibly would take the longest to revive. Uplifting travel bans worldwide, conclusive treatment modality, or a possible Covid-19 vaccine is what it would take for this industry to attain its heydays. Travel visas for those with serious health issues are going to become a problem in the future. Flying out doctors will be the new trend, resulting in reduction of unnecessary travel of patients, and their attendants.
19. Health Insurance will cover less, cost more. Going forward, just having a health insurance cover may not be enough if the sum insured is not adequate. This oft repeated piece of advice by insurers will hold especially true in the post Covid-19 scenario as the cost of treatment of the viral infection can run into lakhs of rupees. Health insurance covers will see a slew of changes due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Underwriting norms will get tougher, and pre-existing conditions may see stringent terms. Insurance premiums will see sharp hikes of 25-40 percent during renewals.
20. Older patients & comorbidity burden will be scary. When a person has more than one illness at the same time, they’re called comorbidities. Asthma, diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease seem to have a high positive co-relation with Covid deaths. Especially amongst the old. According to the 2011 census, 5.3% of the Indian population was older than 65 years – roughly 64 million people. Meanwhile, India already has 49% of the world’s diabetes burden, a total of 72 million people. Even if 1% of this population was to get infected, India’s Covid situation will become uncontrollable.
21. Higher cost of healthcare. It goes without saying that cost of healthcare, going into the next few months and years is set to increase quite substantially. A Covid patient in the family can set it back by lakhs of rupees in cost of hospitalization, and post care. Worse, many private hospitals are turning back the Covid infected, while government hospitals are over-full and ill-equipped. The disease will be debilitating for those infected, both financially and physically.
22. Health Passports will become mandatory for travel. The Health Passport (also called Immunity Passport) was first proposed by Greece for international travel. It is essentially an extra certificate to be issued by the country of origin of travel after testing for the antibodies to coronavirus in the passenger, in addition to the regular identity documents needed for travel. This is to ‘eliminate the necessary 14-day quarantine’ mandated for travel and check the spread of in-bound infection.
23. Hygiene theatres instead of salons. The beauty & wellness industry is one sector that is bound to experience a tectonic transformation. The services that this industry provides are personal & physical in nature. The very basis of spas and salons is touch. And touch is becoming a bad word today. Beauty & wellness will nevertheless continue to thrive because people will still need to “feel good”. A new hairstyle, or a relaxing massage is always more than just a physical makeover. It is a means to be more confident, feel better about oneself, and get empowered to take on the world. Habits like working from home, may initially “liberate” people from grooming and dressing up. But once the novelty wears off, they will realize that looking & feeling good has an inexorable link to how they perform. And while home self-care may become more popular, nothing can replace the power of the practitioners: stylists, therapists and masseuses. The beauty & wellness industry will therefore continue to connect passionate practitioners and committed customers. It is the interface between them that will change. Online bookings, self-check-ins, automatic payments, and many such features will serve to eliminate unnecessary touch-interactions. The days of salons being a social hangout are numbered. Soon there will be smart booking algorithms that optimize appointments and ensure minimal wait time. Salons will also visibly exhibit their improved health standards – a sort of “hygiene theatre” … like doing away with magazines, or putting up screens with a health-checklist that shows, for instance, when the chair was sanitized last. And use of UV disinfectants for the instruments. More, and much more will happen.
24. More respect & remuneration to Health Professionals. The current Covid-19 pandemic crisis has brought to bear the urgency of a strong and concerted effort to cultivate training, research and capacity in public health in order to develop and maintain a prepared cadre of public health experts and professionals. It makes plain as well the need to emphasize public health approaches and knowledge in other professions, bolstering multi-professional teams and cross-discipline collaboration. The Covid-19 crisis has made the critical role of frontline health professionals obvious to, and appreciated by, all. However, reopening our societies and returning to some degree of normality while remaining vigilant for potential new waves of outbreaks will require that healthcare professionals be treated as extra-special. During the pandemic, doctors have been sent into an unequal war: without PPE, adequate facilities or medicines. They have been ill-treated in neighbourhoods, even stoned. Taali-thaali and flypasts have just been window dressings trying to hide the horrible actual reality of the ill-treatment of health workers. Going forward, this will change. And change substantially. Civil society will pay more, respect more their doctors and nurses. No choice on that, or hospitals will run empty of white coats.
25. Many parents may not push their kids to become doctors. Becoming a doctor was always aspirational in middle India. But the current pandemic may act as a dampener for future careerists in medicine. Being a doctor is suddenly seen to be ‘dangerous’ frontline work. Many would be scared.
Everyone’s feeling anxious, and uncertain, and sad, and kind of scared, and people just really want things they can do to feel better. Good health is part of every prayer: there is overwhelming need to combat feelings of isolation, low mood and low self-esteem. The Coursera course, titled The Science of Wellbeing, has become a phenomenon, with more than 2 million students enrolled to date, and more than 40 million views of the course page. Yale academic, Professor Laurie Santos, who anchors the course, also has a thriving podcast – the Happiness Lab. For health and happiness, the world needs more of her tribe!
Dr. Sandeep Goyal is not a medical doctor. He is an MBA & PhD who has been in marketing and communication for 36 years.
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