Today, (Jan 22, 2021), marks the first anniversary of the first diagnosed case of the novel corona virus – COVID 19 – in the US, after being first diagnosed in Washington state.
The news had been reported about the outbreak in China and pandemic experts were concerned and monitoring for potential outbreaks in the US and around the globe. Researchers and experts in China had identified the new virus and shared genome information to other countries to jumpstart international research and vaccine development.
I was working at a Long Term Care Nursing facility and we were dealing with an influenza outbreak. Staff was concerned how the facility would manage, how we would get testing to rule out COVID, whether we had adequate PPE, whether we would have staff shortages, and what we would need to do to protect residents and staff. Residents had to stay in their rooms. Common areas, including dining rooms, were closed. Visitors were not allowed. Temperatures were monitored. Anxiety and stress were prevalent as residents and staff became sick. Some succumbed. It was a prelude to the reality of the pandemic.
A year later, the question of whether to get the vaccine for Covid has been answered. Unless you have a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines, you should get the vaccine when eligible, unless your medical provider, considering your health history, recommends otherwise.
Trump called it a hoax and wearing a mask risked signaling political overtones. However, newly elected President Biden has now confirmed what most of us already knew. It was NOT a hoax. As President Biden stated “We are in a war-time effort against Covid.”
It took a change of leadership. It took research and manufacturing new vaccines and treatments. It took creating diagnostic tools and procedures. It took curtailing fake news, so the public could separate fact from fiction. Four hundred thousand (400,000) Americans have died because of COVID in the last year (probably more than that, considering the limited testing). COVID is contagious and it can mutate. It may be next fall before 70 – 85% of people have been vaccinated and herd immunity attained per Dr Fauci.
There are ways to mitigate spread. Wear face-masks, do frequent hand washing, maintain social distancing, and avoid crowds. For further info check: https://www.cdc.gov
Proactively watch for opportunities to get your COVID vaccine. President Biden’s goal is 100 million COVID vaccines in 100 days. In Washington state, each county is organizing vaccine clinics. Presumingly, each state is doing the same. Public / private enterprises are partnering and announcing plans to provide pop up COVID vaccine clinics, like the one organized by Virginia Mason and Amazon. That event plans to provide 2,000 COVID vaccinations in Seattle, Washington, this weekend.
If you are over age 65, you are eligible to receive a vaccine. Let your provider know that you want to get a vaccine and make your appointment. New vaccine opportunities are popping up all the time. Make getting your vaccine a priority and git ‘er done! By the way, my vaccine didn’t hurt a bit and I am feeling fine! For further information contact https://www.doh.wa.gov or your local health department.