The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 35 million people worldwide and caused more than 1 million deaths so far, making it clear that it is an urgent threat to public health worldwide. While COVID-19 can cause mild disease in many people, with only cough and fever as reported symptoms, studies show that up to 30% of those infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may require hospitalization, and some patients will need intensive clinical intervention for acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Across the globe, public health responses have been focused on limiting new infections by preventing community transmission through social distancing, usage of masks, shutting down non-essential services, and enforcing travel restrictions. These interventions have had devastating social and economic impacts, along with a steep increase in reported mental health issues.
At a time when nations are experiencing increased pressure to re-open economies and return to normal