Spring and Vaccines Make the World Seem Brighter

May 27, 2021

By Laetitia Clayton, Editor, Social Work Advocates magazine

Springtime’s arrival always makes me happy. The air is warmer, the sun seems to shine brighter, and the plants, trees and birds begin to stir. This year we also have the promise of the COVID-19 vaccines, which President Biden has said every adult in the U.S. will be eligible to receive by the end of May.

While we eagerly await a return to normalcy, however, we cannot forget there are people whose losses were far greater than others over the past year—and they will take much longer to recover. Not only did COVID-19 claim the lives of more than 500,000 of us (so far), it also damaged our economy and left many unemployed, and, in some cases, homeless. The pandemic also created or exacerbated mental health issues.

Social workers across the profession have stepped up to address these challenges and find solutions, just as they always have. One example of this can be found in the Viewpoints column in this issue of the magazine. Hospital social worker Jaclyn French describes how the pandemic affected her and her co-workers, as well as their patients, and how she helped them cope. She writes, “We cannot take the trauma of the last year away, but we can help others and ourselves better learn how to carry it.” Well said, Jaclyn.

There’s some uplifting news in our cover story, which examines how many of the Biden-Harris administration’s goals align with social work’s values—like racial, social and economic justice. A good start is Biden’s recent American Rescue Plan, which is expected to lift millions of Americans out of poverty. In the Association News section, you can also read about the transition document NASW sent to the Biden administration and Congress, outlining top federal social policy priorities.

We do seem to be on the road to recovery. As we emerge from the chaos of the past year, let’s make sure to take care of ourselves and others, enjoy spring, and get vaccinated when eligible.

Please visit our new digital magazine at https://www.socialworkers.org/News/Social-Work-Advocates. Write to us at swadvocates@socialworkers.org

The April–May issue of Social Work Advocates includes

New Administration, New Opportunities: Biden-Harris Goals Align With Most Social Work Priorities
Racial justice, COVID relief, the economy and health care are a few of the issues social workers say they would like to see the Biden administration tackle.

Voting Matters at All Levels, Including NASW Elections
Social workers can uphold the importance of voting at all levels—from helping to stop voter suppression to voting in NASW’s national election this April and May, writes NASW President Mit Joyner.

Racism Can Create Debilitating Effects on Mental Health
The trial of Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd in May 2020, reopened wounds for many Black Americans, writes NASW CEO Angelo McClain.

Oncology Social Work: Rewards and Challenges
Those who work in the field say it’s a calling, and can be one of the most rewarding areas of the social work profession.

More in the April–May 2021 Digital Issue:

• Chapter News
• Recent Releases from NASW Press
• Social Work In the Public Eye
• Backstory: Poetry is Powerful

To read the full digital edition, visit SocialWorkers.org.


NASW Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill 2024

NASW Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill 2024

  By Rachel Boyer, MSW, LMSW Ahead of the 2024 NASW National Conference, more than 200 social workers from 36 states and one U.S. Territory attended 172 meetings with Congressional offices in both the U.S. House and Senate on June 18, 2024. The purpose of these...