Welcome to 2021!

2020 was a year like no other where home has become the focus of our lives, our workplace, a classroom, and our sanctuary. It is unlikely that we will ever again take a hug, handshake, or coffee with a friend for granted. As the vaccines roll out with the hope that it will return us to much missed activities, CAPA is hard at work clarifying the mixed messaging patients living with rheumatic disease are receiving. Our patient population were not included in the clinical trials, this is not unusual, clinical trials typically exclude people with pre-existing conditions. It does not mean that it is unsafe for us to receive the vaccine, however. We have communicated our concerns to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. With the expert advice of our medical advisory committee, CAPA plans to develop resources to help patients make informed decisions. In the meantime, there is not enough vaccine for everyone and those at highest risk are being vaccinated first.

At some point this year, life will return to a new normal and we will get to visit friends and family again. I probably will retain the habit of carrying a purse size hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes when travelling, cooking at home more and frequent hand washing. Hopefully, the anxiety I feel when I enter a grocery store, hair salon or a doctor’s office will fade as time goes on. Despite being winter in Canada, I try and get outside once per day, have been experimenting with new recipes, reading good books, connecting with family and friends virtually and doing some knitting when my hands allow. We’re almost there, just a few more months, I hope you are all finding ways to be kind to yourself and others during these challenging times!

Stay safe and well!

Linda Wilhelm