The pandemic has been a stressful time for all of us—for kids, teachers, parents, seniors, front-line workers, health professionals, and anyone just trying to make it through each day safely. Many of us have either contracted COVID-19 ourselves or know someone who has. In the last two years, we have gone through five waves of the pandemic, adhering to public health orders in an effort to keep ourselves and our communities safe.
To pharmacy teams, thank you for all you have done under these difficult circumstances. While you might not always hear it, your efforts are appreciated. I also want to thank all those who have been understanding and compassionate of the difficult situation pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and their colleagues have been going through.
While the pandemic has been hard on everyone, it has been a particularly difficult time for pharmacy teams. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and their support staff have been tasked with providing accessible health services throughout the pandemic, when access to many other health services was limited. Pharmacists have been providing COVID-19 vaccinations since they first became available. Pharmacy teams have been providing COVID-19 testing services as well as distributing publicly funded, take-home rapid antigen tests. There were times when these services were in greater demand than what was available. All the while, pharmacy teams were still expected to meet the everyday needs of their patients and their communities. The vast majority of pharmacy teams have been able to accomplish this with the quality and professionalism we all expect.
As we work our way towards an endemic state, ACP recognizes that pharmacy team members have been working above and beyond their normal capacity to serve their patients and their communities. They have had to deal with constantly changing public health policy and direction, staff shortages, delays with delivery of vaccines and rapid antigen test kits, and, in some cases, angry patients. Pharmacy teams are stressed. They are tired. They are trying their best.
We are asking the public to remember to treat their pharmacy team with the respect and empathy they deserve.
With these reflections, it is appropriate that we extend special thanks to all of our pharmacy teams, who have gone above and beyond to support us, our families, and our communities through the worst days of the pandemic, enabling us to move to a new normal where we can again live life to its fullest.