Life after COVID-19, and antimicrobial resistance

Reading time: 1-2 min

This particular pandemic was arguably different from prior ones due to the accessibility of work and communication technology, allowing for once-difficult or limited arrangements such as 'work or learn from home' to become more widely accepted and accessible.

To what extent will we undo these arrangements and the acceptability of these arrangements at the first sight of COVID-19 becoming negligible globally?

We place ourselves in densely populated spaces to work, to socialize, to live life, etc. It could be argued that the same actions are what cultivates new infectious disease. This rate of new infectious disease generation and spread is unsustainable- we cannot create new antimicrobial agents (think antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals...) to combat this more quickly than we generate antimicrobial resistance, where microorganisms (some of which make us sick) develop resistance to our ultimate weapon against them.

This argument comes from the slow rate of novel antimicrobial agent generation, and how quickly microorganisms generate resistance. Within just a few months or years after creating and using a new antimicrobial drug, resistance tends to arise.

Our best option to slow this down would be to change our social behaviours and life arrangements to limit the generation and spread of infectious disease, thereby decreasing our reliance on antimicrobial agents, slowing the spread of resistance. Would such arrangements be accepted in our near future?

Side note: In an article I read some time ago, a survey noted that a lot of people would rather quit their job than to give up flexible working arrangements. Very interesting.

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