Opinion

Health Care in Hues: Navigating Changing Tides

Our latest installment of Health Care in Hues, a monthly feature that uses art to comment on the state of health care in Canada.

With vaccinations on the horizons and our long winter lockdown nearing its end, there is a growing desire to re-open; to revive businesses and community services across our financial and social sectors; to reconnect with friends and loved ones in outdoor and indoor settings; to re-acquire a semblance of normalcy.

But as regions across the province gradually move into various phases of re-opening, our governments – and we as individuals and communities – tread a fine line.

With ongoing uncertainty regarding efficient and equitable distribution of vaccine supplies, new SARS-CoV-2 variants in play and high-risk segments of our communities still vulnerable, the move to re-open inevitably balances the risk of further uptrends in cases and deaths in a possible third wave. Health-care workers and other essential workers on the frontlines are physically and emotionally fatigued under the unrelenting weight of the pandemic. Health-care systems have struggled with rapidly evolving COVID-19 numbers, surgical and other clinical service cancellations and changes, and increasingly overwhelming demand for persistently insufficient resources.

As we navigate changes in restrictions to bring businesses and other facets of society back, we must look two steps ahead to the potential implications on our health and health care – and tread carefully. Our graphic captures the careful balance between keeping our societies afloat while taking a measured approach to avoid flooding our hospitals and to prioritize protecting one another.

1 Comment
  • Randy Filinski says:

    A very interesting graphic but leaves out the image of those that must work versus just fine dining, socializing and school.

    However, I like the “Healthcare in Hues approach to stimulate discussion and action to fundamentally change our healthcare system rather than “just default”to what we know today.

    The balance doesn’t have to be as portrayed given we have lessons learned from the pandemic and actually shift the approach to a healthcare system and I would love you to create a “Hue” on this vision.

    It starts with population definition in any community and builds up from there, not the current sector down approach we have now.

    Let’s get creative!

Authors

Pooja Gandhi

Contributor

Pooja Gandhi is a speech and language pathologist and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Passionate about graphic medicine and an artist by her second calling, Pooja is co-developer of the Health Care in Hues series, focused on bringing narratives and perspectives from the pandemic to life through graphic medicine.

Arnav Agarwal

Contributor

Arnav Agarwal is an internal medicine resident physician at the University of Toronto and an incoming fellow in general internal medicine at McMaster University. He has parallel interests in clinical epidemiology, narrative writing, medical education and health advocacy.

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