News: Positive Updates

The update this week is positive.  While nationally there are pockets of COVID activity that are extreme, we have done well locally.  Our numbers in Illinois, and Lake County in particular, continue to go down.  We have bent the curve!  This suggests that we are doing a good job with masks, distancing, and hand washing.  This is especially important after the Thanksgiving holiday.  We are being careful, and it is reflected in the numbers. 
The Pfizer vaccine has made it to local hospitals and healthcare workers have started to receive the vaccine.  Given the requirement for ultra-freezing of this vaccine and the numbers of people at the hospital who are at the most risk managing COVID patients, the process is complex.  We are optimistic that the efficiency of delivery will improve day to day.  Overall, the vaccine has been extremely well tolerated with very few reports of significant side effects.
Moderna’s vaccine made it through the approval process of the FDA and CDC.  Doses have been shipped.  The freezing requirements for this vaccine are not as extreme as with the Pfizer vaccine and, therefore, are more suitable for rural areas and transport to nursing homes.  Healthcare works and nursing home residents will continue to be the primary recipients.
The CDC has modified its recommendation for the second vaccination group to include people over 75 years of age.  The timing of when the second group will be eligible to receive the vaccination is still unknown.  We anticipate that there will continue to be modifications of the government’s plan with time.  This will be based on vaccine availability, geographical hotspots, and demographic trends of greatest risk.  For now, we all need to continue the mitigation practice that is proven most effective in keeping us safe. Other vaccines will be available within weeks and more people will have protection soon!  We are very optimistic that by the spring/summer timeframe, life will be looking more normal. 
Today is the darkest day of the year. It represents the deepest part of the tunnel.  This makes it difficult to see how life can be normal again.  The need to connect with family and friends is stronger than ever.  Yet, we need to find the energy to remain vigilant.  The Christmas holiday this week is going to be another challenge.  We recommend that you continue to avoid family gatherings this year and look for other ways to be together such as on Zoom or Facetime.  We did a great job over Thanksgiving and we need to stay the course for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
In an effort to help, we have compiled the Forward Focus Activity Guide to stimulate some creative ways to stay busy during these dark days.  Please find links below.  If you have found an activity that could inspire others, please share it with us at:

There is a good reason for optimism despite the horrible news reports.  Continue to stay safe during these dark months.  We are watching the news closely and will continue to update you regularly.  Please contact the office if you have questions or comments.

December 22, 2020