A New Year of the Pandemic

December 28, 2020

Turning a page on the calendar, heading into a new year, the shocking surge in new coronavirus cases, and the resulting impact on hospitals everywhere triggered dire circumstances that has curbed holiday cheer for many. We KonardJones_THUMBNAILcan, and likely will, debate the efficacy of closing hair salons and playgrounds in the fight to end the pandemic. But these renewed restrictions will help - like it or not. Will it be enough to stem this surge? Likely not.

That is because the overwhelming cause was holiday travel and private gatherings of family and friends from different households. Based on science and COVID-19 contact tracing, that is fact - like it or not.

The most effective way to save lives is for you to avoid social contact with those who do not live in your household … yes, even those you know and love. Make fewer shopping trips to the supermarket. Limit trips to fulfill only essential needs. And by all means, cozy up with the loved ones in your household, but make other gatherings a Zoom or FaceTime meeting with family and friends.

It's doubtful that enough of you will heed this plea, which means we likely will see more new cases as the surge continues. And following the holidays, more of you will need our hospitals for care. Our courageous and exhausted care providers will be there for you.

It is demoralizing to them, and to me, to see reckless behavior persist among those who won't wear a mask, won't practice social distancing, won't avoid gathering with friends and instead make a public health issue - a matter of life and death - somehow a political debate about "freedom." It is not. Health care workers have missed holidays - and social gatherings - for decades to care for you. Can you miss one to care for them? By the grace of God and the ingenuity and tenacity of scientists worldwide, there is reason for measured optimism. The first supply of a COVID-19 vaccine is being administered.

We vaccinated our first group of frontline health care heroes, a contingent that included respiratory therapists, staff members from the ER, acute care and the ICU. We have added emergency medical first responders.

Yes, it's the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, as many have said. It's a very long, dark tunnel still to be navigated. We hope you will be in line when the vaccine supply enables us to protect you and loved ones. We hope you will see the truth in the science, as we do. We hope you will join those in the fight to end this deadly pandemic.


B. Konard Jones

President & CEO

NorthBay Medical Group