Two headlines we ran Friday probably tell you most of what you need to know about the current state of long-term care.

The first reads “COVID-19 death rate in nursing homes reaches new height since start of pandemic, on track to worsen, analysis finds.”

Then there’s this: “As FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccine, CVS Health says it’s ready to administer doses in nursing homes.”

The obvious take-away here is that while things are deteriorating in the short term, better days may not be that far behind.

Certainly, the part about worsening conditions is nothing to celebrate. Especially as it’s a message that’s been resonating one way or another throughout 2020.

To say we could use a reprieve from this peas porridge diet is an extreme understatement. Which is exactly what we have in the promise of quick inoculations on a massive scale.

That residents and staff will soon be receiving vaccines may not be the equivalent of turning the corner. But it’s certainly a start in the right direction.

Let’s not forget that every inoculation means a life potentially saved. In a year that has otherwise delivered so much sorrow, that is surely a development that should give us some comfort.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director for McKnight’s.