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Despite a very long year of uncertainty, the COVID-19 vaccine is finally available and nearly 100 million U.S. citizens have been vaccinated!

Almost one year ago, on Friday the 13 of March 2020, COVID-19 closed schools across the country, for what many thought would only be two weeks. 

Like many, I was excited for what felt like an extended spring break, but the reality of life in a pandemic soon ended those feelings of rest and relaxation. One year into the pandemic, and we still have much to learn. But I think the most important part is to recognize how far we have come.

Most of us had never worn a mask in public, hand sanitizer was not yet considered essential to life, and nobody knew that families would need to stay apart indefinitely. Today, we know that masks are a requirement in any public space, we all must stay apart and hand sanitizing and washing is a must. Some families still haven’t seen each other since the beginning of the pandemic, and many people have been left isolated during holidays and special occasions. Yes, this year has been isolating, but we have all learned just how incredible technology can really be. People have learned to connect with others via Zoom, FaceTime and other video chatting methods. Phone calls to family members became the new normal and some people found themselves keeping in touch with their loved ones even more than before the pandemic. If anything, this year has taught us the value in family and those close to us. I believe that it is essential to rely on others to move through this experience together. Sure, maybe it’s a cliche “We’re all in this together,” (Did anyone else think about High School Musical?) but it really is the truth. 

We have supported front line workers as they sacrificed their own safety to care for and protect us. We have developed a vaccine in record time. We have adjusted, slowly. 

So, What Would Chelsea Do? Well, like everyone reading this, Chelsea has experienced, witnessed, and read about both our failures and our successes this year. But, she wants to remind everyone that there is hope on the horizon. Many high-risk citizens have already been vaccinated, and we are on the road to herd immunity. As much as we can wish, the pandemic won’t  miraculously end in the near future. But, we can all contribute to ending it sooner by continuing safe practices in daily life. 

In the meantime, continue supporting healthcare workers, educators, essential workers, parents and everyone around us who has made this year just a little bit easier to get through. Remind someone how grateful you are for 

everything they have done. Most importantly, remember that we are all human and we are all feeling similar feelings. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone and ask how they are. Take time for yourself and take time for others, too. There will be an end to the pandemic, and we will all reach it together.