by Jeff Tieman, President & CEO of VAHHS The pandemic has taught us to adjust, and to be resilient in the face of adversity. COVID-19 required us to find and show strength we may not have known we had. Whether it was staying away from loved ones, quarantining from household members, forgoing trips, moving to remote work and learning, closing businesses, or otherwise altering our normal course of life, the pandemic has been hard on everyone.
As we learned to manage these variables and developments, we also learned to be careful, strong and patient.
This past week, we needed to tap into that inner strength and resolve as many Vermonters had their long-awaited vaccine appointments cancelled when the federal government temporarily paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.
If there is one thing about the pandemic that has been consistent from the start, it is the “COVID curveballs” that continue to be slung our way. Just when we are settled into a new routine or a set of expectations: WHAM! There it is. The fact remains, this pandemic is far from over.
So, we’ll need to keep digging deep, setting expectations reasonably and moving forward thoughtfully and collaboratively, as we have since COVID first crossed our borders. With infections and vaccinations both growing, there is cause for both concern and celebration.
To address the concern, we need to keep doing all the right things with distancing, masking, hand washing and vaccinating. To celebrate, we begin cautiously seeing our friends and relatives again. We safely visit restaurants. We enjoy the spring weather that allows us to gather outside in ways that do not spread COVID as easily.
It is not yet time to count the home runs, but to be ready for more curveballs as we move toward broader immunity and normalcy. We are making great progress. I expect the coming weeks to bring more good news than bad, including on the availability of vaccines. At the same time, with so many unknowns, our continued patience, resilience and vigilance is required for a bit longer.