Nancy Weinbeck
Nancy Weinbeck

In my prior column on “Vaccination Procrastination,” I shared my concerns about the limited access to vaccines. While distribution and administration of vaccines to our greater community is still a struggle, it does appear that those channels are easing and more vaccine will be available to more and more folks.

At Bayview, we were able to get all of our residents and staff vaccinated, and we are very grateful.

While the final vaccine clinic is still in progress as of the writing of this column, we anticipate that all of our residents and staff will have received their second dose by the time this column is published.

The questions I hear at Bayview, which I imagine are the same questions that many people have, is what does it mean? How does it change my life? Are we able to go back to “normal?”

Unfortunately, there are still too many unknowns to answer these questions with any respectable confidence level.

While we know the effectiveness rate of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine against the most common strain of the virus, we don’t have any data yet on the protection these vaccines offer against the increasing number of variant virus strains. We don’t know how long the vaccines provide protection in the first place. And we don’t know how transmissible the virus is from someone who is doubly vaccinated to someone who is unvaccinated.

At Bayview, our stance is to treat the vaccine as the fourth step in good infection control protocols: 1. Wear your mask; 2. Keep at least 6 feet apart from another person; 3. Practice good hand hygiene; 4. Get vaccinated.

Beyond that, many restrictions will stay in place until the infection rate in King County starts showing substantial decreases.

This is so hard when we’ve been under the grip of the pandemic for just about a year at this point.

But we’ve made it this far.

New vaccines are on the horizon, as well as new treatments for COVID-19.

Are things going to get better? Absolutely. Can we say when? We’re not there yet.

But the good news is (and there’s lots of good news), there’s a “there” there. Just a few months ago, we couldn’t even talk about a “there.”

We’ll be able to answer all those unknowns soon. And that in itself gives hope.

So stay well and safe everyone, get vaccinated, and we’ll see what changes are on the horizon.

— Nancy Weinbeck is the CEO of Bayview in Queen Anne