It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since our lives, our communities and our world was considered “normal.” Honestly, I don’t think any of us could have imagined the world that waited for us after the holiday season of 2019. But here we are, two years later, with hope on the horizon.
We’ve now had a full year of accessible, safe and effective vaccines here in the U.S. for adults, seven months for adolescents, and now one full month for children as young as five years old. As I’ve said from the very beginning, these vaccines are the best and strongest tool we have to overcome the pandemic that changed the world we once knew.
Vaccines are also one of the main reasons that this year’s holiday season comes with hope, joy and peace.
While many of us are staying socially distanced from our friends and family who may be more vulnerable to illnesses or our tiniest population who cannot yet receive the COVID-19 vaccine, every day there are more and more fully vaccinated individuals who—for the first time in two years—feel comfortable enough to hug their loved ones once again.
Personally and professionally, I missed seeing my friends, family, colleagues and our patient families smile, and feel the sense of comfort that was taken from us for far too long. I cannot begin to express the joy it brings to my heart to know that Texas Children’s has had a hand in bringing this peace to families.
My hope for each and every one of you this year—whether I’m wishing you a ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Heri za Kwanzaa,’ or ‘Happy Holidays’—is the ability to create new, beautiful and wonderful memories with your family and friends.
While we still have a journey ahead of us, we’ve never been in a better position than we are today. We have the tools and the knowledge, but most importantly, we have each other. The new year we are about to walk into may look different but I am confident that together and with the help of booster vaccinations, we can create a world that is much greater than the one we’ve always known.