April, 2021

Dear Friends,

What a year it has been! When the pandemic was officially declared and I asked staff to begin working remotely, I thought that might be the case for about three weeks. Little did we know that, over a year later, the situation would be the same!

It has been a year in which we all have learned the value of flexibility, and one in which we have developed new skills. To reflect for a few moments, think of the ways our vocabulary has changed. “Zoom” calls became a common way to connect, when we were so eager to see a familiar face, and we all grew frustrated with the phrase, “You’re on Mute!” We explored the differences between “surgical” and “N95” masks and wondered if ordinary “face coverings” were adequate.

As the virus seemed destined to be with us for a while, HVO “pivoted” to an e-learning interface and volunteers began resuming training through many different avenues. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic has been that e-learning has not only offered new approaches to training, but also that online training and conferences often mean that more people can participate.

With the roll-out of the vaccines, I certainly hope that the “sheltering at home” can begin to phase out and we can return to our offices. More importantly, I hope that the lessons we learned in this difficult year will not be forgotten, and that global health care will be prioritized so that the next pandemic will not be as devastating for the world.

Stay strong, be safe, and let’s get through this soon!

Nancy A. Kelly, MHS
Executive Director
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