The holiday season is a time that we often look to slow down, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the true spirit of the season—the gift of giving to others.  No one exemplifies that spirit more than the women and men of New Hampshire’s hospitals and health systems. 

No one deserves more the rest and a break over the holidays than them.  But as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended all of our lives and isn’t showing signs of letting up in the weeks ahead.  And that means the health care heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t get the chance to take a break this holiday season.  That’s what they signed up to do when they answered the calling to serve as caregivers.  But they need our help.

They have been there for us and will continue to be there for us, but we need to do all we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we don’t overwhelm the health care system.  They’ve told us for months:  wear a mask; wash your hands; maintain social distance; avoid gatherings with others outside of your home when you are unable to maintain social distance; and stay home when you’re not feeling well.  Those messages are more important now than ever before. 

As we look to the new year, we do so with renewed hope—hope in the form of safe and effective vaccines.  But inoculating everyone who needs and wants a vaccine will take some time.  That’s why we all have to remain vigilant and continue to follow public health guidelines that we know will help us limit the spread of COVID-19.  Please, don’t let your guard down, continue to do your part and help support the health care heroes on the front lines of this pandemic.  That would be the greatest gift of all.