Testing Our Mettle

Members | August 05, 2021 | by Carol Silver Elliott

LeadingAge Board Chair Carol Silver Elliott offers this message to members about our strength and determination as the Delta variant continues to challenge our field. 

We have lived through an 18 month period that we have all described as “the worst” in both our personal and professional lives. As elder care providers, many of us have battled this virus up close. We’ve had elders and staff become ill and some of them not survive. We’ve lost friends and family members. We have struggled for information, resources, supplies and support. And we’ve pushed for vaccination, knowing that this is the only weapon we have in this war.

At this moment, that COVID enemy that we thought we had in retreat is not really retreating the way we had hoped. Every day we watch as the Delta variant drives the number of cases up and, along with it, the number of deaths. We may have won the initial battle but, clearly, we have not yet won the war.

And we are tired. We are worn out from the constant anxiety and fear, exhausted from the twin challenges of rebuilding census and strength and finding enough staff to help make that possible. We are tired of hearing the word “COVID,” tired of feeling that every other sentence we speak or hear has that word in it. Tired? Yes, there is no question that we have earned the right to feel that way.

And yet I find myself feeling ready for whatever comes our way and I know that many of you feel the same. COVID may have snuck up on us last time, may have taken us by surprise. But that will not happen again. We are smarter, stronger and even more determined than we were. COVID did not, and will not, get the best of us. Of that I am certain.