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Be ‘grateful’ for our caregivers

Too many friends have lost their lives, too many friends have lost their businesses, and too many children have lost the innocence of their youth during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been a year we would all like to shed from our memories. A once in a generation global pandemic coupled with a bitterly divisive presidential election left many of us emotionally fatigued and nagged by a persistent question: will our lives ever get any better?

In early December, I tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Thankfully, I have had to endure only minor symptoms during my isolation. The front-line health care heroes, from our primary care physicians and nurses to the medics at our testing centers, took great care of me. We should all be grateful for those brave souls who enter the health care profession, not as a career but as a calling to heal and provide comfort to others.

As a very different holiday rush unfolds this year, the federal government is leading a remarkable public-private partnership comprised of scientists, military personnel, along with leading private pharmaceutical and logistics companies to deliver the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States.

Employees and patients in health care facilities and nursing homes, the epicenter of COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania, were expected to receive the vaccine by the Christmas holiday.

We should all be inspired by the collaborative public leadership that has unleashed the power of American private innovation to deliver a life-saving vaccine less than one year from the discovery of the novel coronavirus. Never has the public and private sectors in America worked so quickly and so brilliantly to develop a new vaccine with a 95% effectiveness at preventing a deadly disease like COVID-19.

As 2020 comes to an end, I am grateful for the helpers and the healers who cared for us this year and I am inspired by the dreamers and the innovators who never give up on the idea that tomorrow will be better.

State Sen. John Yudichak is an Independent who represents the 14th Senatorial District (Luzerne/Carbon).

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