Pandemic: Year 2
January 26, 2021
Feb. 15 will mark the one-year anniversary of the day a patient walked in to the Emergency Department of our Vacaville hospital and was later identified as the first known person in our country to acquire COVID-19 through community spread. It has been an incredibly fast and furious, financially devastating and exhausting year.
Holiday gatherings during the holidays resulted in a serious spike of new cases, which filled our hospitals and caused our ICU capacity to drop to zero on some days. Thankfully, by the end of January, we saw the number of cases start to diminish, and California’s Stay-at-Home Order lifted.
Nonetheless, this is not the time to let our guard down. Yes, you’ve heard it before and I must reaffirm what the science says. Until we achieve vaccination of an overwhelming proportion of our population – something likely to take several months – continue to avoid social contact with those who do not live in your household, even those you trust and love. Make fewer shopping trips to the supermarket. Limit trips to fulfill only essential needs.
We have vaccinated most of our frontline health care heroes at NorthBay Health, and I finally had my chance to receive my first dose. I have done so with complete confidence that it is the right thing to do.
We are pleased to be conducting weekday clinics to provide vaccine to our patients 65 and older. Soon, we hope, we will expand to those 50 and older. And we are working with Solano County Public Health and other health systems to figure out how clinics could be offered to ensure no one who wants the vaccine falls through the cracks.
Supply is now the limiting factor. Because a well-planned, coordinated national rollout was not developed months ago, there is uncertainty about how many doses we will receive at NorthBay Health, and when they will arrive. It complicates the process, but it will not halt our work to protect as many of our patients as possible, as soon as possible.
One final plea: If you are skeptical of the vaccine, study more about it. These website pages include links to expert, well-supported research by trusted experts. We hope you will be in line when the vaccine supply enables us to protect you and your loved ones.
Yes, there are better days on the horizon. The path there needs to be navigated carefully and cautiously. Be safe. Wear a mask, Wash your hands frequently. Socially distance just a while longer. Together we can end this deadly pandemic.
B. Konard Jones
President & CEO