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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 37-38

COVID: Team work and salutogenesis: A perspective

1 Department of CM and FM, AIIMS, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Department of Medicine, NBMCH, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
3 Department of CM, NBMCH, Siliguri, West Bengal, India
4 Raiganj Medical College, Raiganj, West Bengal, India

Date of Submission21-May-2021
Date of Decision01-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance06-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication28-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Nilanjana Ghosh
Department of CM and FM, AIIMS, Guwahati, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jssrp.jssrp_9_21

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How to cite this article:
Ghosh N, Bandyopadhyay D, Tirkey L, Samajjdar K. COVID: Team work and salutogenesis: A perspective. J Surg Spec Rural Pract 2021;2:37-8

How to cite this URL:
Ghosh N, Bandyopadhyay D, Tirkey L, Samajjdar K. COVID: Team work and salutogenesis: A perspective. J Surg Spec Rural Pract [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 31];2:37-8. Available from: http://www.jssrp.org/text.asp?2021/2/3/37/334046

Unprepared we can face the storm but un-united we cannot.

Mankind was busy segregating itself from the environment, from one another in name of technical advancement. They worked, they traveled, they enjoyed mother nature's resources in bounty thinking the world was at their feet and was served to them on a platter to devour. More so the developed countries with few developing ones were planning to move and buy land extra-terrestrial as world seemed a small same old congested place. Amidst Australian forest fires and burning Amazons which caused little stir struck the COVID 19 Pandemic. Initially, it was concentrated in a province of China, namely Wuhan but then due to misinterpretations of renowned organizations and lack of early recognition and preventive measures it spread like a wildfire from Italy, to the USA to Europe, to Russia, to South East Asia.[1] The world was not spared by even an inch. Some interpreted it as wrath of Mother Nature with its other life forms heaving a sigh of relief, whereas some interpreted it only scientifically as a deadly viral pandemic with catastrophic consequences.

India like the world also got into complete lockdown. Both state and center worked in unison to prevent the spread of disease and formulate strategies to combat unique public health challenge the country was facing. Huge financial losses were incurred. Migrant population, vulnerable age groups, daily wage earners suffered a lot and new terms like public health, asymptomatic transmission, prevention, quarantine, community ownership, preventive health care strategies such as masks, social distancing, cough etiquettes, and handwashing gained prominence. The role of online services starting from schools to hospitals to daily marketing to travel were emphasized and they became new normal. The streets were deserted, the schools, hospitals, stadiums were all taken up for quarantine and isolation purpose, new clinics and wards such as screening clinics, isolation wards, and COVID testing kiosks got opened.

Every government hospital with no exception had these with minor modifications. Overall functioning got compartmentalized into patients being treated as COVID suspects, COVID positive, and COVID negative. COVID testing was operationalized and concerned departments took all the workload working 24 × 7 incessantly. Isolation wards got operational with meticulous planning and dedicated efforts of team leaders of concerned clinical departments and administrative hierarchy of hospitals. Even few private hospitals were identified as COVID hospitals and they were manned and made functional by working in close coordination with medical colleges and district administration.

How days turned into nights and then the next day came became bleak. Personal protective equipment was supplied and it was ensured that they are adequately and appropriately used. Devoted seniors had their share of wear and tear, risking their life, sacrificing their well being they fought at the forefront. Situated in foothills of Himalayas, a rough difficult terrain, away from the state capital by 600 km, in an era of lockdown, the rural tertiary medical college faced it all and stood rock solid in face of the deadly pandemic looking back straight into its eyes. The motivation and supportive supervision of seniors enthused other faculties and even junior doctors who took it on them to run the COVID 19 Screening clinic 24 × 7 under constant supervision. The clinic with its sets of directives handled all patients, screened them and appropriately treated, tested, and guided COVID positive, suspects, and others respectively. Despite working round the clock for a year without any leave, not was once a complaint from the patients or any misunderstanding among support staff of the clinic.

Everyone in all the COVID care areas wanted to deliver their best. The new establishments born during COVID era stand witness to the efforts of so many doctors who incessantly worked to make it functional and proudly claim of delivering services required.[2]

COVID Stories are not of any particular incident or any particular person, neither it is an anecdote to be heard and shared, it is the story of the buildings who weathered all storm silently, it is the story of the souls who sacrificed their lives for the cause fighting to protect others, it is the story of those hardworking dedicated seniors who showed what teamwork means, who made us realize what supportive supervision was, working round the clock despite all odds, notwithstanding all limitations but without any grievance.

COVID did not unfurl any gaps in health care system as few irrelevant memes went around then, rather it made the community realize medicine is in their hands, some time prevention is the only cure and collective community ownership is mandatory to combat a pandemic. It is not only onus of doctors to treat and cure, the pre-COVID blame game on doctors for once had taken a back seat and people realized their responsibility to stay healthy. Health belief models, the importance of well-being with special assertion on mental health found a strong foothold with advent of the pandemic.

Vaccination drives soon followed after with the same team again gearing up for the next agenda of providing an uninterrupted vaccine delivery to all allotted beneficiaries. New site selection to being made operational, manpower delegation, a multidisciplinary team working beyond their already busy schedule pledging support at every point of time, opening more sites. Vaccination is a success story today.[3],[4]

However, despite COVID is affecting and the second wave has taken its toll. Every age group is affected and it is almost a replay of the previous year. Dearth of necessary health infrastructure has further aggravated the situation. In this perspective, a new concept of salutogenesis has come up which entails all necessary factors which support human health and well-being. It is more about coping with the stress and focusing on factors that aid wellness. Antonovsky's concept applied in health promotion has a potential in COVID cure as the disease can be fought mainly with preventive precautionary care rather than therapeutic ones. Developing a strong Sense of Coherence (SOC) among suspects and affected can lead to favorable outcomes. Awareness and building on major three components of SOC namely Manageability (a belief that the required skills are present to tide over the crisis), Comprehensibility (a belief that things will eventually happen in an orderly and predictable fashion), and Meaningfulness (a belief that there is good reason or a purpose to care) is essential. It has been evidenced that those with high SOC have better outcomes than those having low SOC given the same adverse event. Nowadays salutogenic models are being applied even in health infrastructure. Hospital layouts, especially COVID Blocks and wards are designed keeping in mind the concepts of salutogenesis. Dwelving deep is beyond the scope but it is now evident that COVID fight needs handholding of not only all health care workers and police personnel but also administration and public health engineering department who would ensure a healthy living for a healthy life.

Hence, COVID-19 remains the biggest game-changer of the century, a great leveler which proved learning and adapting never ends. We now know names in the story are not important, the story is. There can be no names to a team as it is known only by the exemplary teamwork and quality team spirit. The only thing which matters. The experiences are assets for lifetime and can never be shared vividly but the spirit of handholding irrespective of hierarchy will persist forever. It is rightly said, facts are stranger than fiction, never has been working so satisfying as was in this deadly pandemic era. Amidst the fear and terror remain laced the memories of fighting for a cause, protecting many. With our new found wisdom let's pray the world becomes a better place to live in. Amen.


This write up is incomplete without acknowledging proactive supervision of college administration, Head of Department of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Dipanjan Bandyopadhyay, Prof. Dr. K. Samajdar, Prof. Dr. P. Deb are especially acknowledged for their support throughout. Department of Community Medicine, Microbiology and other concerned departments who ran the clinic along with interns are also acknowledged. It also is thankful to Prof. Dr. I. Saha, Principal, NBMCH for all support.

  References Top

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), National Centre for Disease Control, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Weekly Outbreaks. Available from: https://idsp.nic.in/index4.php?lang=1&level=0&linkid=406&lid=3689. [Last accessed on 2020 May 29].  Back to cited text no. 3
World Health Organization Department of Communications; 2019. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Available from: https://www.who.int/internal-publications-detail/updated-country-preparedness-and-response-status-for-covid-19-as-of-19-march-2020. [Last accessed on 2020 May 29].  Back to cited text no. 4


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