I for one am ready for the year 2020 to be behind us. Since mid-March, we have all been living under COVID restrictions that have made it nearly impossible for us to do the things that we want to do. At IN-SIGHT, COVID has led to the cancellation of scores of programs that we had planned for this year and has negatively impacted our staff, volunteers, and clients.
Thankfully, it appears that 2021 will bring a number of vaccines that should lead to a slow easing of the restrictions until we finally return to normal. While it is impossible to predict what the coming year will look like exactly, here is a rough idea of how I hope things will unfold at IN-SIGHT:
January – April: Status Quo
The first few months of the year are likely to be a lot like the majority of 2020. While vaccines may start to become available by the end of this year, most experts predict that it will take at least until March to get them widely available to the general public. In the meantime it is likely that the virus will continue to spread and that many restrictions will remain in place.
As has been the case for the past several months, many of our services will continue to be primarily offered virtually including workshops, support groups, and other programs. As the restrictions allow, we also hope to be able to continue offering small Yoga classes, limited in-person training, and magnifier evaluations.
May – August: The Slow Return
By the spring and into the summer, my hope is that COVID will start to significantly recede as more people are vaccinated and the warmer weather once again stunts its spread. The decline in community spread should also hopefully result in a relaxing of most, if not all, of the restrictions that we are currently living under which should mean that we can resume some small group workshops and in-home training. I am hopeful that Dr. Bradley, who has been on National Guard duty since March, will be able to return to our low vision clinic.
I am also very confident that by the summer we will be at the point that we will be able to safely offer our summer youth program in some form in July.
September – December: Back to Normal
By the fall hopefully, COVID will be a distant memory and things will be fully back to normal. As long as this is the case we should be able to restart our network of community support groups, weekly large group Yoga classes, group workshops, recreational programs, Family Experience luncheons, and much more.
While it still seems a bit far off, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel and I for one cannot wait to get there!
Christopher Butler is the Executive Director of IN-SIGHT.