Published March 2022
The new year did not start with bright shiny lights around us. Quite the contrary. The omicron variant of COVID-19 surged everywhere in the country. Daily case counts went through the roof and hit about 800,000 per day. Hospitalization sharply increased, forcing some hospitals to the brink. Death counts went above 2,000 per day, reaching a mind-numbing 900,000 in total. Suddenly, all efforts to prevent the return of the pandemic seemed futile as omicron broke the wall of resistance offered by the two-dose vaccines. Even people with the third booster dose fell prey to its infectiousness. But, as January rolled out, the case counts started to decline and, along with it, hospitalizations. Masking and travel mandates were lifted around the country, and it seems we may now be getting close to the end of the tunnel.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to sharply recede by the end of March 2022, and there is a push from U.S. state leaders to bring the country back to pre-pandemic normalcy. It remains to be seen whether localized flare-ups will happen again, such as how some metro cities were badly affected by the Spanish Flu in 1920 – the third year of the pandemic. Despite all the gloom on the public health front during the beginning of the year, there are many silver linings already visibly showing glimpses of future promises. In this article, I will discuss some of the tailwinds that I think will bring profound changes in the healthcare industry.