Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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Pivoting Through COVID-19

  March 05, 2022
By Monica Hendrickson, MPH, Administrator Peoria City/County Health Department

“PIVOT”  – verb: to turn or spin around a center point
– noun: a turning point

The term pivot is a dynamic word. It indicates a movement around a center balanced point, allowing us to be responsive to any future changes. It also means that we can come back to balance when our environment dictates us to do so. In a situation where vaccines are available, medical treatment and care models identified, and testing options are routine and accessible; our future with COVID-19, will require “pivoting” both as a community and as individuals.

As a Community:
Within the community, pivoting will require us to be keenly aware of how our systems of care and support are impacted by COVID-19 cases. While risk for some populations might be low, for others at high risk, it is imperative to keep the care and support available to minimize the impacts on our community. The balance we strike will be a recognition of how the actions of some individuals impact the health of others—that there is a common good that we strive to achieve. In addition, the pivot point also recognizes our expectations in accessing resources. We all believe that if the time comes for us to use our healthcare system, the capacity will be available to provide needed critical care. However, while some of us may not be directly impacted by the virus, our risk of receiving other healthcare and the type of healthcare might diminish due to the number and severity of COVID-19 cases using the healthcare system. This situation is why community-wide mitigations are essential in combating novel viruses and many other health issues. Just as we built these mitigations layer by layer beginning in 2020, the process to begin moving our response recommendations will be a pivot. Each time a layer of response is pulled back, we will need to monitor, reset our balance, and respond as needed.

As an Individual:
For the individual, pivoting will be understanding our own risks and how we can best mitigate those risks. An individual going through cancer treatment, or who is the primary care giver for an older parent, or who has a child with respiratory needs, will look at risk through a different lens compared to someone who is healthier. The key is to understand that for individuals, our pivot points will look different. Our own risks and how comfortable we feel with those risks will play a key role as we move forward. As individuals, we will also need to be keenly aware that our perception of risk can still impact those around us.

Moving Forward:
The challenge in the next few months will be how we pivot, both as a community and as individuals. We will all need to demonstrate compassion and grace as this journey moves forward. And perhaps more importantly, we should ask ourselves how we can assist each other both physically and mentally in pivoting towards our new life with COVID-19.

Monica Hendrickson, Administrator at Peoria City/County Health Department, holds a Master of Public Health. Monica shares an expertise in epidemiology through her leadership role in the community response to COVID-19 in the Tri-county area of Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties. For additional information on the COVID-19 community mitigations and response, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website, Back to Top

March 05, 2022


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