What about the impacts on health workers?

Health workers are going to need a lot of mental health support. It can be extremely traumatic to have to turn someone away from care or have to ration care, especially for someone who reminds you of your grandmother.

There are huge debates going on around what to do when health workers are exposed. In California, a single sick person was exposed to 200 health workers, so they had to self-isolate. But most hospitals during flu season are already at capacity and COVID-19 will push them over capacity, so they can’t afford to lose a single health worker.

The most important thing is the need to practise universal precautions and treat every patient the same. Most people got familiar with universal precautions during the HIV epidemic. There was so much stigma, they eventually ended up handling every patient as though they had HIV and that was an effective measure.

This article was originally publish in the World Economic Forum.

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