On this special bonus COVID-19 update, Nurse Keith discusses where we are in the pandemic as we end this most challenging year. Topics include the mRNA vaccines; the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel; how we’ve pulled together and pulled apart; global inequalities related to the distribution of resources; and hopes for 2021.
Who do we feel grateful for as the year comes to an end?
- Scientists and researchers
- My brother Ken Carlson at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University
- Nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, social workers, chaplains, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare providers
- Environmental/housekeeping, food service, security, HVAC, and other support staff
- Nurses aides, CNAs, and so many others
- Admin and executive leadership who’ve stepped up
We also need to keep in mind those people who work in grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and post offices. Waste services, moving companies, delivery people, plumbers and electricians who’ve been going into people’s homes and risking their own health; and essential service workers of all kinds.
How will we mitigate the effects of isolation on so many people? And how will we address the needs of children whose education has been erratic and challenging, and whose socialization has been severely curtailed. And when will we choose to make sure we protect those who are incarcerated?
What answers will the Biden-Harris administration have to the many issues facing our country and the world?
My hopes include:
- The rebuilding of trust between the medical and scientific communities and communities of color. The mistrust is deep and longstanding for good reason.
- Excellent outcomes and herd immunity from our vaccination initiatives.
- That this time next year we see brushfires of COVID rather than forest fires.
- New therapeutics that provide widely-accessible protection against advancing COVID-related disease processes, and that these therapeutics be equally available to all.
- Ongoing research into the long-hauler syndromes of COVID survivors whose health appears to be potentially permanently impacted with chronic fatigue, cognitive issues, organ damage, etc
- That we will have learned from this experience and are more ready for next time, because, sadly enough, there will unavoidably be a next time.
- That public health is no longer taken for granted
- Well-wishes for you and yours in 2021
Articles and resources mentioned during this episode:
- NY Times graphic and article on how the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine works
- NY Times article on post-COVID psychosis
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