With Covid cases on the decline, our community is anticipating a respite from Omicron and all the disruption it has brought with it since December. As I am now on day nine of my own recovery from a mild breakthrough case (thanks, vaccines!) I will be among approximately 45% of the entire country that will have been diagnosed with this variant by Valentine’s Day.
For our unvaccinated, and for our hospitals, this has been a particularly onerous time. But it has also been onerous for our entire sector, which once again has been battered by disruptions to its ability to care for our community because of challenges with workforce and revenue streams, and quagmires in supply chains and legislative bodies alike.
And yet, brighter days are ahead. Though it is difficult to forecast more than 30 days out with this disease, the combination of vaccinations, Omicron-based immunity, antiviral medication supplies increasing, rapid test supplies stabilizing, free N95s being distributed, and more, the month of February promises to be—if nothing else—a welcome break from the turbulence of the last 23 months.
It’s imperative that with this time we rest, we heal, we recommit to hopefulness, and we plan for the opportunities and challenges ahead while addressing the opportunities and challenges immediately before us.
We will be there, with our nonprofit community, every step of the way.
Much of our work will be led by our fantastic and first-ever Director of Membership and Community Engagement, Bhumika Patel, who joined us in December. She will improve and expand upon the shared professional services and resources available to our members, and will build relationships with our nonprofits and across sectors in the Columbus Region.
New and expanded leadership on our Board of Directors and its Executive Committee will also be critical to our efforts under Chair Christie Angel, CEO of YWCA Columbus, as we seek to shape this community’s direction not only over the year head, but the next hundred.
I am so proud to live in this city, but I want it to be worthy of everyone who calls it home—from those who have lived here for generations, to our youngest residents like my two-year-old son, and to our newest residents like those resettling here as we speak from Afghanistan.
It has been a torturous 23 months navigating Covid. It has both created and exacerbated so many urgent needs and structural inequities, with crises on so many fronts colliding and weighing on some of us more heavily than others. Though our community has found a way to provide incredible support through these crises, can we match the elevated and sustained needs of our community with elevated and sustained help from our community?
I believe we can.
But our helpers are hurting, and they are weary. So a key question for me is: How are we going to help the helpers meet the needs of the Columbus Region going forward?
I know it will take all of us, moving with urgency and alacrity, buoyed by significant investments of dollars and significant investments in one another, to get us where we need to be.
Let us be impatient for justice and patient with one another, and we can move the mountains before us at last.