Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the worst infectious disease that has affected humanity over the past century, is still causing dramatic derangements of healthcare, society and economy, so that nothing will be the same as before. Several months after the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, many enquiries remain unanswered. The first and foremost is, perhaps, if (and when) we will be able to completely eradicate SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), and life could optimistically return to a “new” normal. The most likely answer is “probably no”, at least for several months (years) to come. We shall not be really surprised by this, since the influenza virus H1N1, which caused the dramatic Spanish flu pandemic nearly 100 years ago, is still among us and kills several people during every new outbreak, with a death rate especially high in the older and sick population (i.e., between 0.1-1.0%). Therefore, given for granted that we will need to learn to live with this new (corona)virus for quite a long time, we shall need to think out of the box and envisage strategies aimed to make the healthcare (system) more efficient to withstand the considerable clinical, societal and economic impact of COVID-19. This would actually encompass a complete revolution of the entire system of care, including community-based medicine, hospital medicine, in vitro diagnostic testing and rehabilitation medicine, according to a novel, patient-centered system of care, based on the peculiar clinical and organizational aspects characterizing the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
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