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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 38-41

Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic – SWOT analysis


1 Department of Panchakarma, Swami Vivekanand Ayurvedic Panchakarma Hospital, Delhi, India
2 Department of Kaumarabhritya, VYDS Ayurved Mahavidyalay, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission14-Aug-2020
Date of Decision28-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance29-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Snehalatha S N Dornala
Department of Kaumarabhritya, VYDS Ayurved Mahavidyalay, Khurja, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_158_20

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  Abstract 


Introduction: The whole world is witnessing the transition of every sphere of human activity – home, work, education, health, time, travel, eating/drinking, shopping, etc., due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither hard power nor soft power could stop a tiny member of the coronavirus family from its global spread of COVID-19. Majorly, it has affected the health of the people and wealth of the nations. Society has explored many new normal thereby learn to live with corona. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to analyze what lessons we have learned from this once-in-a-lifetime experience, i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues and challenges in combating the sudden outbreaks. Materials and Methods: SWOT (Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats) analysis has been used as a tool to depict the lessons learned in general and for Ayurveda in specific from the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: There are no shortcuts to combat pandemics. Pandemics remind us about the common adage “Prevention is better than cure.” An ongoing situation may end tomorrow or the day after, but when all this is over, the earth will continue to spin, and life will flow again. Ultimately, it is the time to pause and rewind the lessons from pandemic and guidance for our future public health hazards.

Keywords: Ayurveda, COVID, Pandemic, SWOT, Diseases of Globalization, Immunity


How to cite this article:
Dornala SN, Dornala SS. Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic – SWOT analysis. J Ayurveda 2020;14:38-41

How to cite this URL:
Dornala SN, Dornala SS. Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic – SWOT analysis. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 19];14:38-41. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2020/14/4/38/304898




  Introduction Top


With the turn of the 21st century, globalization has taken a paradigm shift due to the profound impact of information and communication technology. Simply globalization means global integration of currency, capital, customs, cultures, communities, and communication among different countries. Health care has also undergone dramatic globalization. There are two facets of globalization with respect to public health, i.e., “Globalization of diseases” and “Diseases of Globalization.” The ongoing corona pandemic is the best example for “Globalization of diseases,” as it has affected almost all the countries of the world, whereas increased incidence and prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, etc., are examples of “Diseases of Globalization,” may be due to mixing of cross-cultural habits, foods, products, etc.

The third decade of the 21st century started with the year 2020, usually pronounced as “twenty-twenty.” “Twenty-twenty hindsight” idiom implies that “one cannot predict the future,” rightly suits to the uncertainty of the pandemic due to an ever-changing understanding about the COVID-19, wherein society geared up to learn to live with corona. This particular year will be remembered in world history due to the major impact of the corona, as it has spared none of the countries, places, races, classes, professions, fields, etc.

The survival of human existence is under threat due to corona havoc. Perhaps, for the first time in history, an invisible organism challenging the whole visible world led to a standstill across the globe. The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases have surpassed 21.3 million worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 763,353 as of August 15, 2020.[1]


  SWOT Analysis Top


A SWOT analysis has been done to assess lessons learned from the pandemic, which will help to convert opportunities into strengths and prevent weaknesses from turning into threats.

Strengths

Strengths of SWOT analysis about pandemic implies the quality or attribute of the SARS-CoV 2 and qualities necessary in dealing with difficult or distressing situations of COVID-19.

Strengths of virus

  • The only aim of the virus is to find the people to infect
  • Unique structure and function of the SARS-CoV-2 spikes
  • Spreads quickly and regress slowly
  • Novel mechanisms are being followed by the virus to infect the host
  • The smart virus means that easily get protected with most simple, cheap, and effective ways, i.e., handwashing, social distancing, and masking up, but once effected, there is the possibility of very serious disease, and even death.


Strengths/advantages we gained from pandemic

  • Corona has taught us about the importance of basic public health principles of physical distancing, handwashing, wearing masks, coughing etiquette, and staying at home when sick, etc., particularly during pandemics[2]
  • Corona united the world and human race irrespective of geographical location, race, religion, caste, class, etc.
  • Demonstrated the value of freedom, i.e., freedom to move
  • Learned that solidarity and cooperation are the drivers of society
  • Taught us to be resilient during the pandemic
  • To change the population behavior for the self (hand wash), social hygiene (respiratory etiquette), and cleanliness
  • To think of self-reliant and self-sustained
  • Environmental pollution minimized remarkably so that nature got rebooted and strengthened
  • Open access to the data, information, and knowledge related to COVID-19 across the globe are the key drivers of tackling the pandemic
  • Do it yourself of household chores
  • Fall in crime rate, fatalities on roads, and suicides.[3]


Strengths/advantages for Ayurveda due to corona

  • The major advantage Ayurveda has gained due to pandemic is the exponential growth of stakeholders of Ayurveda, particularly the customer base. Almost 77% of families in the country used Ayurveda as a treatment or supportive care, according to research by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Moreover, it is also illustrated with a record of over one million downloads of the “Ayush Sanjivani” mobile application designed by the Ministry of AYUSH GoI to study the health-seeking behavior of the population and inform people on the prevention of coronavirus through traditional medicine[4]
  • Due to the nonavailability of preventive, protective, or promotive options in conventional medicine, people have opted for alternative health-care choices such as Ayurveda and Yoga
  • Present government functionary and policies are in full support of Ayurveda to stand its credibility among the scientific communities and the general public at the national and international levels, due to which many interdisciplinary studies were initiated and are under pipeline
  • Ayurveda has become so popular that it has emerged as synonymous with the word “Immunity.” Kadha is popularly known as Ayurvedic cocktail or immunity-boosting tea has become “New Cola” among the Indians
  • Reports from the different states on the use of Ayurveda in quarantine cases[5] and as a supportive measure in mild-to-moderate cases[6],[7] indicate that a lot can be offered by Ayurveda to combat the COVID pandemic. Wise can understand that pluralistic and integrative health care is the ultimate solution, and thereby, all the available resources can be utilized to the optimum level to get success in the COVID battle
  • Renowned Ayurvedic medicine “Chyavanprash” has become the brand ambassador of Ayurveda on the global level.


Weaknesses

  • We are used to a high-touch and high-contact environment
  • No medicine/vaccine found effective to date
  • Lack of health-care resources and infrastructure to manage critical cases and to meet the sudden outbreaks
  • Scarcity of funds for surveillance testing in highly populated countries like India
  • A little knowledge is available so far on alternate routes of transmission, namely via sewage, contaminated water, or air conditioning systems
  • Little evidence on biological transmission through semen and breast milk
  • Little evidence on reinfection and reactivation of the infection
  • Corona phobia among the communities.


Weaknesses of Ayurveda with respect to COVID-19

  • Lack of properly executed evidential base for Ayurvedic claims as antivirals or against COVID-19
  • Quackery is more in the field of Ayurveda, where practitioners make tall claims of COVID cure on the name of Ayurveda
  • Trying to look at Ayurveda from the lens of modern medicine and to generate evidence on the conventional framework
  • Imposing all the Regulatory provisions of biomedicine to Ayurveda without analyzing the context.
  • There are clinical conditions listed under The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954, where Ayurveda has a definitive role to contribute to the cure; still, it is not exempted for Ayurveda
  • Conventional medicine is using the trial-and-error methodology, compassionate base, repurposing of drugs, etc., for the trial of different medicines to combat COVID-19, whereas they refuse to accept empirical evidence in Ayurveda so that there is no official clearance for standalone therapies of Ayurveda in COVID care
  • Quality of the ingredients and standardization of the products specifically for immunity-boosting for the prevention and protection against COVID
  • Ayurvedic herbomineral formulations are neglected due to the presence of “heavy metals,” though they are superior to plain herbal preparations.


Opportunities

  • Opportunity to identify the gaps while managing pandemics and to fill those gaps as a preparatory measure for future epidemics
  • Opportunity for the government to gain public trust
  • For innovation to develop cutting-edge technology to combat corona
  • For the revival of Indian traditions such as NAMASTE (I bow to you)
  • For the Indian pharma industry to supply global needs of COVID care medicines and items
  • Health literacy and digital literacy have become new normal of day-to-day lives.
  • For insight into the personal life
  • Transition and transformation of lives and livelihoods
  • Opportunity for glocal transition, i.e., global technology for local needs
  • To explore alternatives such as telemedicine, telecommuting (work from home), and homeschooling by blended learning
  • Opportunity for the alcoholics for the de-addiction.


Opportunities for Ayurveda

  • It is the best opportunity for the globalization of Indian medical wisdom such as Ayurveda. Ministry of AYUSH issued an advisory of simple immunity-boosting measures for self-care during the COVID-19 crisis in various foreign languages which has helped many people across the globe to adopt the same
  • For the first time, AYUSH human resources are being considered for the deployment in pandemic COVID-related duties
  • For the revival of Ayurveda and yoga in public health
  • Showcase the strengths of Ayurveda
  • Opportunity to tap the potentials of Ayurveda to fill the gaps in COVID care in conventional medicine.


Threats

  • Corona being the novel virus, nothing is established so far and understanding about the illness is changing on a day-to-day basis. Unreliable and false information is spreading around the world to such an extent that some commentators are now referring to the new avalanche of misinformation that's accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic as a “disinfodemic.” Moreover, fears are growing that this phenomenon is putting lives at risk, prompting some with symptoms to try unproven remedies in the hope of “curing” themselves[8]
  • COVID has affected the health of the people and the wealth of the nations. It may take longer periods to restore the normalcy
  • Challenges of dual noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and novel communicable diseases
  • Challenges of dual NCDs – non-COVID deaths and novel corona deaths
  • Asymptomatic/presymptomatic cases
  • Fear of mortality due to COVID-19
  • Possibility of the second wave of the pandemic
  • Myths and misconceptions about the pandemic
  • Chance of fecal transmission
  • Post traumatic stress disorder mainly a 20–20 phobia. It will remain in society, maybe till the end of this decade
  • No effect of temperature on the spread of COVID-19
  • Possibility of local transmission, particularly in urban slums
  • Economical loss and impact on the livelihoods of the people.


Threats for Ayurveda

  • Gradually, Ayurveda is losing professionalism. You do not need any prescription to sell the Ayurvedic medicines. In the name of Ayurveda, irrational home remedies for self-care, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), over-the-counter (OTC) (online and direct) products are increasing many folds in society. Moreover, people without any background qualification in Ayurveda are claiming themselves as “Acharyas,” “Vaidyas,” etc., speaking on TV channels, online platforms, and recommending remedies for COVID-related problems. There is no regulation on these issues
  • Ayurveda is also becoming popular in other countries since the celebration of the first International Yoga day in 2015. However, people from other countries have undergone weekend or week-long or 15 days or other similar short-term courses either in India or abroad claiming themselves as “vaidyas,” which may give the false impression of popularization, but in the long run, professionalism will be lost in the field of Ayurveda. COVID has given the opportunity for such practices through online courses
  • Social media is the major threat to all the fields and Ayurveda also because false information is being shared by everyone without knowing much about the same.


Speaking in digital language about COVID-19 that the Global community effected with major malware, i.e., SARS-CoV2. It needs rebooting, i.e., to shut down all the activities and restart fresh again. By imposing a lockdown, we have shut down all the activities. To reboot is to reload the operating system of a computer, to start afresh. Alternatives were explored such as homeschooling, telemedicine, and telecommuting for the day-to-day operating systems of life such as schooling, business, travel, and transportation.

Indian philosophy says, “Paropakaram Vahanti Nadya, Paropakaram Duhanti Gaaya, Paropakaram Phalanti Vriksha, Paropakaram Idam Shareeram” means “Rivers flow for others to benefit, Cows give milk for others to benefit, Trees bear fruits for others to benefit, and similarly, this physical body is also meant for others to benefit without expecting anything in return.” To protect our friends, family, neighbors, and fellow citizens – and most of all our parents and grandparents – we need to self-sacrifice to put their needs first and mitigate their risk.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.





 
  References Top

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---13-july-2020. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 13].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Varma V, Arakal RA, Agarwala T, Pisharody RV, Deb D. Available from: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-covid-19-crime-rate-road-accidents-suicides-6386519/. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 15; Last updated on 2020 Apr 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Sharma S. Available from: https://sptnkne.ws/CHBN. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 12; Last updated on 2020 Jun 18].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Available from: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1626611. [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 15].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Available from: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061592. [Last accessed on 2020 May 25].  Back to cited text no. 8
    




 

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