As the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines make their way to hospitals, clinics, and care facilities across the U.S., the promise of recovery from the pandemic has become more real than ever. The just, appropriate, and sensible selection of our healthcare workers as first recipients of the vaccine should remind us of the incredible work they have done during this difficult year in treating our loved ones, risking their own health, and witnessing firsthand the terrible cost the virus has taken.

I have relatives and clients in the healthcare industry, and I am awed by how these organizations, teams, and individuals have adapted and sacrificed throughout the biggest health crisis this nation has faced in more than a century. Through uncertainty, devastating loss, and rapid change, they have all managed to do what needed to be done, sometimes without adequate supplies or assistance beyond their own networks. Vaccinating these workers before anyone else is not only logical from an epidemiological standpoint but also the least we can do for people who have chosen to stay at the epicenter of the crisis in order to fight for the lives of our loved ones.

This holiday season is not ideal for people longing to be with family and friends, and it may feel miserably restrictive. Still, I hope you’ll find comfort in the greatest gift we could have hoped for, one that was also developed by this same healthcare industry in record time: a safe, reliable, effective vaccine against COVID-19. As a result, 2021 is looking better than ever, and the gravest error we could make is taking the healthcare industry for granted as we slowly exit this calamitous season of illness.

I feel fortunate to work and associate with members of this industry, because their understanding of the strength and capability achieved through mindful care is intuitive, a natural consequence of their profession. Their profound understanding of this connection is not limited to their patients—they extend this mindset of caring and kindness to their coworkers and the ways in which they administrate and operate as an organization. It has always been a pleasure and, frankly, an honor to work with them, and while I wish everyone a great holiday and much happier times ahead, I particularly hope that our healthcare workers worldwide find solace and happiness in the new year.