Few people would have predicted last March that we’d experience a year under “quarantine.” As the pandemic enters its 12th month, it marks a sad milestone for the U.S and the world, with more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in this country and 2.53 million worldwide.
Yet, now that three vaccines have been approved for use in the U.S., and a few more are in development or in use elsewhere, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It will still be an uphill battle, and the jury is still out on the impact of the new variants. But if there’s anything we’ve learned in the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community, it’s that we keep our hopes up and soldier on.
We’ll continue to battle the pandemic with as much energy and dedication to eradicate it as we do with PH. You’ve shared how difficult the year has been, affecting your physical as well as your mental health. High levels of anxiety are common among our members and allies.
You’ve also shown us your incredible creativity, resilience and compassion during the pandemic by sharing your stories of supporting one another, finding new ways to be safe and living your best lives with PH.
Your perseverance and continued hope inspire us all, and we hope you continue to share these stories with us in the months ahead.
To help you cope with continuing tough times ahead, PHA is enhancing our efforts to educate the community about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Last month, PHA Chair Colleen Brunetti convened a COVID-19 Task Force, which includes experts from our PH Professional Network (PHPN) and Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), PHA staff, patients and caregivers. The task force will meet regularly as long as the pandemic remains a threat to the health of our community.
The task force aims to develop education materials for the PH community adapted from authoritative COVID-19 information. Those sources include the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services Department, Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health.
The task force also will address special topics like mental health self-care through webinars or education materials.
We encourage you to participate in virtual support groups and discuss pandemic issues that keep you up at night. We hope to be able to tap into your concerns and ideas to continue providing resources that benefit the PH community.
Please let me know how the task force and our COVID-19 programming can better meet your needs. I look forward to hearing from you.
With gratitude and respect,