Parting Thoughts at the Close of a Most Difficult Year

This week marks the one year anniversary since global health experts of the WHO first learned of a disconcerting cluster of cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause” epicentered in Wuhan, China. A pandemic of epic proportions, a tempest that would cause tumult the world over, was born.

2020 has been a trying year for us all, linking the global citizenry through shared anxiety, grief and loss. As we bid farewell to a most difficult year, we are granted a special opportunity to reflect upon the toll that this pandemic has taken. It is easier to become numb to the ever increasing counts than it is to conceptualize the staggering degree of morbidity and mortality that this virus has exacted. One million seven hundred seventy-one thousand one hundred twenty-eight precious lives have been lost. Individuals living all around this beautiful planet have had to make monumental sacrifices, missing priceless moments of physical presence with those whom they love. In order to stay safe, in addition to physically distancing ourselves from others, we’ve had to learn and employ a number of mitigation measures in our daily lives, requiring a level of constant vigilance that has been exhausting. An overwhelming amount of suffering has been inflicted by SARS-CoV2. COVID-19 is a terrible disease, and this pandemic has been brutal.

Nevertheless, there is much to be grateful for. During the darkest days, my spirits have been lifted in witness of devoted staff, courageous caregivers, conscientious residents, open debates, innovative solutions, exceptional teamwork, acts of altruism, shining stars, helping hands, and news of positive outcomes. We’ve learned valuable lessons this year. And we have witnessed astonishing scientific progress.

Thank you to everyone for the personal sacrifices that you have endured in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy. Serving Deerfield this year has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

May 2021 bring better days.

Taryn Tindall, RN, on behalf of the Deerfield Leadership Team