All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.                       Alexandre Dumas 

After our March General Membership Meeting, I am very hopeful at the prospect of returning to “normal” soon.  Yet we continue to wait for additional transmission rate reductions to move to the less restrictive designations.  Members and guests received updates on the ever-changing news of all things related to COVID-19.  Thanks to Paul Gullixson, Sonoma County Communications Manager, Dr. Urmila Shende, Sonoma County Covid-19 Vaccine Chief, Judy Coffey and Leap Solutions who are working on the Sonoma County Vaccination Stakeholder Outreach, and Dr. Jeff Harding who is coordinating Sonoma County Office of Education vaccination efforts to reach the education community.

The great news we received is that Sonoma County has ample vaccination capacity.  The difficult news is that vaccine supply is limited nation-wide.  Supply will improve as production capacity is increased and additional vaccines are FDA approved.  Once that occurs, we have the capacity to vaccinate Sonoma County residents.

Each of us can help to bring Sonoma County out of the purple tier designation by performing additional Covid testing.  In recent months, focus moved from testing to vaccination; however, testing determines metrics which are critical to reopening.  While trends are moving in a positive direction, the State of California is asking Counties to determine true infection rates.  This can only happen if both symptomatic and asymptomatic residents are tested.   Officials recommend getting tested once per month or every other week for those in regular public contact.  Here is a link to testing sites where you can schedule your free Covid test.

The County of Sonoma is launching a “Say YES!” campaign which you will soon see in a variety of media.  Say Yes! to moving past Covid.  Say Yes! to getting tested.  Say Yes! To being together again.  Say Yes! to vaccination when it is your turn.

The vaccines are safe and use mRNA technology, created from genetic code without using any actual virus.  This means it is impossible to get Covid from the vaccine.  Scientists have been working on this technology for years which made it easier to find the vaccine for Covid-19.  Global cooperation and funding have been remarkable, with researchers pushing everything else aside to work toward a solution.  Thank you to our medical and scientific communities for your expertise and to our governments for their support and efforts.  Thank you for the cooperative efforts of so many local groups.  Our local wine, ag and health communities led a cooperative effort to vaccinate essential agricultural workers.  SCOE is leading an effort to vaccinate the entire education community.

There is a remaining question:  At what point can we get back to normal?  Dr. Shende said if you have received both vaccination doses, it takes 2 weeks to develop immunity.  To receive herd immunity 70% – 80% of residents need to be vaccinated.  If rates drop and remain low and if variants are identified, this all helps.  If the governor modifies the guidelines as Paul Gullixson said he has hinted, there is hope.  Again, we hope and wait.

Meanwhile, please take a moment to appreciate all the people whose work it is to get us back to school, work, and life.  Thank you for providing hope to the community!

Thank you each for your participation in the Sonoma County Alliance and for the work you do for our community.  It is important and appreciated!

What are you grateful for today?

Marlene Soiland, 2021 President

The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.       Bryant McGill