Middle East

How Employers Should Adapt to Long Covid’s New Threats

Now that vaccines are widely available, the story of Covid-19 has fallen into post-pandemic rumination. We look back on the lessons learned for the most part. But in many ways we have to deal with the protracted impact. These are generally economic, social or commercial changes and are new norms that we must adapt to. But one such protracted issue that the region must agree on is Covid itself. Vaccination is original, but it cannot protect us from “long covids”.

Longcovid, also known as the “postcovid state,” persists in people who have been infected with the coronavirus and then recovered. Many people may have had few or no symptoms before, but long Covids can be accompanied by hundreds of different complaints. The most common reported by patients and clinicians are shortness of breath, dullness of thought (or “brain fog”) and malaise. Others include anxiety, chest pain, fever, loss of smell and taste, and depression. People experience symptoms everywhere between 3 and 9 months, but given the lifespan of a pandemic, there are many unknowns.

The United Arab Emirates was one of the most decisive countries in responding to Covid’s pandemic, including its vaccination efforts. According to the United Arab Emirates National Emergency and Disaster Management Agency, up to 100% of the country has been vaccinated at least once and more than 90% have been fully vaccinated. However, even if things go back to normal here, a UAE study conducted in conjunction with the Covid rehabilitation program found that many suffer from long Covids.

Employer’s response
Longcovid has a wide range of impacts not only on medical professionals who diagnose and treat, but also on society. At work, people living with this long-term illness are less productive because long covids affect their well-being and concentration. Region-wide employers need to assess how they maintain a supportive and comprehensive environment to address this issue.

Fatigue and shortness of breath are two of the most common symptoms, so employers should be aware that their ability to perform their jobs will be affected. By commuting alone, you can save people who are suffering from energy reserves. Long Covid has a long reach. It can invade many different parts of the body and affect the nervous system, respiratory system, heart, lungs, etc. Patients with long covids need to deal with a variety of mental health problems in addition to physical symptoms. And, in many cases, long covids not only have different effects on a patient-by-patient basis, but can change daily within a particular patient.

For all these and beyond reasons, it is imperative that employers incorporate a personalized, but flexible and holistic approach to the needs of long-term Covid patients. Healthcare security is essential. The plan should take into account different combinations of symptoms. Similarly, corporate policies should reflect the needs of those same individuals. If an employee is symptomatic enough to require vacation, you need to be prepared for contingencies to deal with it. Other patients may need to adjust their schedule.

Practicalism and the need for compassion
In some other cases, the symptoms can be severe enough to be classified as a disorder. Employers need to decide whether to act purely within the legal framework that officially defines disability, or to take a pragmatic approach to investigating and acting on individual needs and well-being.

We live in an era where employees can expect a compassionate response from their organization, whether or not they suffer from a long Covid. Flexibility, personalized care, inclusiveness, and a serious focus on health and well-being-the “first in life” approach if you do-are the top priorities of today’s workforce when assessing employers. .. Experts in the region, especially the younger generation, are not tolerant of employer ignorance on physical and mental health issues, especially when it leads to discrimination. Corporate policies that are too debilitating, less than upholding the legal definition of what constitutes a disability, prevent people from disclosing long-term covid-like illnesses. And this is bad for everyone involved.

People need to feel safe to move forward, which leads us to the importance of compassionate management. If employees have the wrong kind of relationship with the person reporting their distress, they are unlikely to report it. Therefore, it is beneficial to invest in training line managers. This creates an open dialogue atmosphere in which leaders can recognize these health issues and respond with empathy and compassion.

To the unknown world … again
There is still much we do not understand about the symptoms of long Covid, the length of time the patient may have to endure them. A sound strategy for employers’ occupational health and safety does more than just benefit victims. They allow local businesses to navigate the impact with the same effects they have shown in overcoming other Covid-related issues in the midst of a pandemic. I am convinced that local stakeholders recognize the importance of personalized counseling and support for employees with long-term Covids. In addition, we expect to see the continued flexibility shown over the past year in responding to changing employee expectations regarding health and wellness issues. The goal here is open communication. It will allow us to face long Covids as we faced that harmful precedent.

David Healy is EMEACEO from Aetna International.

https://gulfbusiness.com/how-employers-should-adapt-to-the-emerging-threat-of-long-covid/ How Employers Should Adapt to Long Covid’s New Threats

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