By Indu Gupta, MD, MPH, MA, FACP
Onondaga County Commissioner of Health
The year 2020 was a year that changed us in ways we could not have imagined: the loss of life, illness and isolation, the damage to the economy, and our ability to make a living. The Onondaga County Health Department team worked every day to meet these enormous challenges. As a community, we came together and expressed our individual and collective responsibility to slow the spread of the virus and to get vaccinated to prevent illness and death and regain a level of normalcy in our lives.
As I reflect on the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, what comes to mind first is the anxiety and uncertainty that dominated 2020. We then welcomed 2021 with a sense of hope, with our newly launched mass vaccination clinics and established testing infrastructure. Despite the emergence of COVID-19 variants, hope continued to grow with the availability of at-home tests and life-saving treatment options such as antivirals and monoclonal antibody therapy.
I hope this pandemic response timeline will take you back in time and provide an opportunity to see the sequence of events as they were unfolding. We have come so far; however, I would like to remind you that the pandemic is still here! Please continue to use all the tools in your toolbox as we approach later this summer and into the fall. Please stay healthy and enjoy life every day!