I’ll be honest, it’s challenging to buckle down and focus on senior housing issues after everything that happened last week at the Capitol. As noted political pundit, Sir Paul McCartney (kind of) wrote about our nation’s problems, “Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” But personally, I don’t want to believe in “Yesterday.”
Maybe this is a good time to temporarily zoom past all the carnage in Washington, D.C., and focus on something undeniably positive that’s happening in our own industry. I’m talking about the vaccinations, and specifically about our courageous staff, who are pushing your fears aside and stepping forward with your sleeves rolled up.
Though the percentage of our staff willing to get the vaccine still lags far behind residents, most of you are getting the vaccine nonetheless. Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to quite a few of you. Some had no concerns and got vaccinated without a second thought, whistling all the way to the needle. But others talked about how they had to hurdle deep reservations and anxieties to reach the decision to get it.
As you choose to accept the vaccine despite these misgivings, you’re not focusing much on whether your arm will hurt, or if you might be tired for a day or two. You’re looking forward to a world where families are reunited with residents, where dining rooms are open, group activities are possible, and where layers of PPE don’t stifle clear communication and undermine compassionate connection.
So, against a national backdrop of division and uncertainty, let’s applaud our staff who have stepped up to be vaccinated. Over the past year, you’ve suffered and sacrificed so much, and will almost certainly still continue to do so for the next few months. But you know the vaccines finally represent hope, a light at the end of this dark tunnel, a huge step on the road to recovery. And you’re certainly not giving up the battle now after you’ve come so far.
BTW – I got the vaccine yesterday and have no side effects other than a very slight sore arm where I got the shot.