The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’m starting this year with bounded optimism – hopeful yet realistic. The truth is the COVID-19 vaccine gives us light at the end of the very dark tunnel of the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean it comes without its challenges.

We knew Loretto would be among the first organizations to receive access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and there is a range of emotions that come with that opportunity. Yes, many residents and their families are excited to have them protected from the virus. But there are also plenty of understandably skeptical staff members with reasonable questions.

Regardless of what industry you’re in or what position you hold, the bottom line is at some point you’ll likely have the opportunity to get the vaccine. When that day comes, even more than wanting you to say yes, I want you to be educated on the facts surrounding the vaccine. So, I’m providing for you a sampling of links similar to what we have provided to the residents and staff at Loretto. Links that you can count on to give good, factual information on the vaccine, hoping that you will take time to find answers to the questions and doubts you may have. Please read them and share them!

We need to take reasonable steps to pave a new, brighter path to the future. That’s why, a couple of weeks ago, I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I wasn’t anxious to be at the front of the line, as I know there are others more vulnerable than I – but as a leader, I would never ask my employees to do something that I wasn’t willing to do myself. Thankfully in the ~600 residents and staff members that have been vaccinated so far, I’m happy to report we’ve had no severe side effects. In fact, nothing more to report than sore arms.

While the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel (or a “shot of hope” as I tell my staff), the reality is none of us are safe until all of us are safe. It’s not enough to have a vaccine – people have to be vaccinated. Part of that is providing factual information to help answer people’s questions and concerns, but the other part is ensuring everyone gets affordable access to the vaccine. That may seem like a no-brainer (and it should be!), but the reality is the United States has very uneven access to healthcare. So the question becomes, how can we pull together and do all we can to make sure everyone has an equal shot at life?

You’ve heard me talk about my philosophy of pragmatic altruism – the fact that doing good is good business. Part of doing good is doing good for all.

As you’re considering your new year mantras and resolutions, I hope you’ll think to consider those in your community who may not be on anyone’s vaccination list. Regardless of what role you play at work, everyone can commit to being a vocal advocate for those individuals. And if we all make that commitment, there’s no denying 2021 will be brighter and better.