As a child listening to my grandmother around the kitchen table I learned the benefit of patience – it often felt like we were hearing the same story on repeat. But I still treasure the time in her presence, it was a small price to pay. And, that lesson is coming in handy now. Two years into the pandemic, like many of you, I feel like we’re hearing the same old story with a new variant. My patience is running thin but I’m holding on. So, enter 2022 and we are still talking about COVID-19.
Tomorrow a new District vaccine requirement goes into effect that will require patrons to provide proof of at least one COVID vaccine to enter most places of business – including restaurants, bars, gyms, and concert halls. The mayor’s order with the full list of where you need and don’t need proof of vaccination is available here.
There is a small glimmer of hope in our area, the latest reports are that Omicron variant may be peaking in Washington. The city publishes daily infection and hospitalization counts which you can see here. If that’s too much to unpack, I’ll give you the short version: DC’s case rate remains in the category of substantial community spread and remains a serious threat. While declining, we’re still seeing about 1,400 cases each day in the District. Fortunately, our hospitalization rate is low with slightly less than 5% of people hospitalized.
Three Steps to Protect Yourself
Get your booster. The CDC continues to remind us that vaccines are the best way to protect against getting severe cases of COVID-19. And boosters are an important part of the vaccine strategy. You are eligible for a booster at 5 months after completing Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, 6 months after completing Moderna primary series, and 2 months after the initial J&J/Janssen vaccine. Please get your booster if you haven’t. Within DC, you can make a booster appointment at most pharmacies, but if you cannot leave your home, call 1-855-363-0333 and they will come to you!
Self-test, regularly. Self-tests protect you and those you encounter. They are easy to use and produce rapid results. DC provides rapid self-tests (antigen tests) free of charge, you can pick them up daily at the Cleveland Park Library with proof of residency. Residents aged 65 or older can go to the front of the line! The Village also has a small quantity of these tests available through DC Heath. Please email us at info@CWPV.org or call 202-615-5853, if you are not able to obtain kits from the library.
Speaking of vaccines, a reminder that the Village requires proof of vaccination, including boosters, for members and volunteers who participate in in-person events and services. A photo of your vaccine card can be emailed to info@CWPV.org or texted to 202-615-5853.
Hopefully someday soon COVID won’t dominate our discussion. I can’t wait for the day when we can all say “remember COVID?” But until then, my childhood lessons in patience will be put to good use.
Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Village.