It’s been a long year. Yes, a year. On January 21, Washington State reached the one-year mark since the first case of COVID-19 was reported. Since then, we’ve faced closures of schools, playgrounds and have gone mostly virtual.
It might be safe to assume that by this point, we’re getting pretty good at celebrating holidays virtually or safely distanced. Every day, we’re getting closer to being able to celebrate our favorite holidays and events with the people we love but until then, it’s just as important to keep wearing masks, washing your hands, maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance in public spaces and avoiding large gatherings where safe distancing is difficult.
When the pandemic hit, Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) had to quickly reassign and hire people just for the response. One of those people hired for the response was Carma Fuhlendorf. She was hired to work as an administrative assistant in Disease Prevention and Response which, as the name tells you, is right in the middle of the fight against the pandemic in our region. Carma says that as a new team member she had no clue about the stress level, dedication, commitment, and love for the community her coworkers would have. Carma references the 60+ hour weeks and often seven-day work weeks a lot of the team has put in throughout the pandemic.
In late December, nearly a year after the pandemic began, it was announced with great excitement that vaccinations against COVID-19 would begin in Washington state.
New beginnings always seem more possible during springtime. Longer days, warmer temperatures and green shoots beginning to emerge from the cold ground after a long winter remind us that nothing lasts forever. April is national Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention month.
By now, you’ve probably heard the news that the third COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson, was authorized for distribution but was temporarily paused before being authorized once again for use in the United States. Even though another vaccine in our toolbelt is great news and gives us another tool to manage the spread of COVID-19, there are a lot of questions about the vaccine that we’re excited to answer.
Parenting is full of tough choices that are neither right nor wrong, but somewhere in the middle. The choice you make comes down to your family’s situation and the amount of risk and benefit there is. Have you noticed during the pandemic these choices have been harder, and critics on both sides have been louder?
Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. While a doctor treats people who are sick, those working in public health try to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place by promoting wellness and encouraging healthy behaviors.
Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial kick-off to summer, which is one of the best times of year to experience everything the Spokane area has to offer. Even though this is the second time our community we will be experiencing the holiday in a pandemic, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a safe three-day weekend.
Most people would agree that throughout the pandemic they missed out on an event they typically enjoy. Whether the loss was celebrating a major life event, attending an annual festival, or just part of a routine, it was one more thing that added stress to people in our community. That’s why in February of this year, SRHD began a group that would shift the focus from what we can’t do to what we can do in a safe way.