“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
If you pause for the briefest of moments to reflect on the past 12 months, it’s both emotionally overwhelming and deeply inspiring.
A man in Orange County tests positive for COVID-19, the first case in California, bringing the number of U.S. cases to three.
The World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 outbreak a global public health emergency. Nearly 8,000 people have been infected, mostly in China, and 170 have died.
Santa Clara County declares a local health emergency due to COVID-19, the first county in California to do so.
Some American passengers and crew members from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined in Japan, are flown to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
The toll is steep – from lost experiences like missed birthdays, postponed weddings, and in-person education, to the insidious seeds of stress and exhaustion planted in all of us that for many have yet to grow, to the raw loss of human life – more than 300,000 Americans and more than 22,000 Californians are no longer with us.
But 2020 is not only a story of pain and loss. It is also one of unbreakable spirit. I know this because today, as we stand in the throes of a surge that is testing every ounce of strength we have left, stretching every resource to the absolute limit, one thing is true: We still stand.
That must be repeated: We still stand.
We stand because others are falling, and someone must catch them.
We stand because we know that thousands upon thousands of Californians will NOT have an empty seat at their holiday dinner table this year because of the work we do.
We stand because it is our duty, because when all other lights go out in people’s lives, the lights of hospitals stay on – literally and figuratively, always.
That is the enduring story of 2020 – hospitals providing hope when it’s hard to find anywhere else.
In all we’ve been through this year, the trials, the disappointments, the triumphs – you have never faltered in providing that hope.
That is the gift that hospitals have given to this year, and it is a gift we, as your association, are honored to fight to preserve every day.