A year ago today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global disease. The pain of this disease and the continuing loss of life around the world and in our country is heartbreaking. To many of you who have felt the pain and loss of a loved one during the onset of illness – you have suffered the final loss, and we grieve for you.
After a year of this fight, we were tired, we were lonely, we were impatient. There are so many lost family reunions, so many lost miles and opportunities, so many sacrifices. And yet, through all, there is judgment; there are stories of giving hope, of resilience and perseverance. We better be together, and together, we will endure.
Vaccinating millions every day gives me hope. Hopefully we can overcome this pandemic. And hopefully we can get back together with our family, friends, and community. And soon.
Earlier this week, the CDC released the first based on evidence guidance for fully vaccinated people. it new recommendations is the first step in our process of getting back into everyday activity – safely spending time with family and friends, hugging our grandparents and grandchildren, and celebrating birthdays and holidays.
As we gather more evidence to support a safe return to daily activity, please continue to take precautions in public and if in the vicinity of people at risk of severe COVID-19 disease. Whether you have been vaccinated or have not been vaccinated, wear a good mask, practice physical distance, wash your hands regularly, avoid medium and large gatherings, and avoid traveling. We know that these measures will work to prevent the spread of this virus and help protect everyone.
This pandemic will end. And, our public health work will continue. Through the almost blind mind of this crisis, we now clearly see what could have been said before-the long-standing inequalities that prevent us from achieving optimal health for all. We have seen the impact of years of neglect on our public health infrastructure. We see a critical need for data to act more quickly than disease, to avoid reacting. To ward off this pandemic, we must be determined to face these challenges head on and fully embrace the innovations, new partnerships, and resilience of our communities emerging from this crisis. . This is the only way we can end tragedy and sorrow into sustainable progress and improved health for all.
In one year, more than 520,000 Americans lost COVID-19. These are grandparents, parents, and children. They are brothers, friends, and neighbors. They are our loved ones and our community. We are working together to mourn these losses and intensify our efforts so that they are not in vain. I thank you for your perseverance and your unity in the mission. Together, our strength and hope will guide us to the end of this disease.