How is everyone feeling about the COVID-19 vaccine mandates right about now? Just about had it? Ready to book a one-way ticket to Cozumel?

Totally understandable.

With this week’s events spanning the suspension of the federal healthcare mandate as well as a new lethal variant circulating the globe, it’s all one can do to stay sane. (Let’s not get started on how providers in New York are faring.) Bucket of pinot grigio, anyone?

The federal court’s temporary stoppage of the CMS mandate might seem particularly stressful, particularly as Monday is the deadline for first shots.

Of course, there is another way of looking at it: Pressure’s off, people. Staff now have more time to get vaccinated, providers have more cushion. You can consider it a deadline extension.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice offers slightly different advice: Act like the mandate will remain in place. While the path forward is unclear, in a statement Wednesday, NAHC urged providers to stick to the mandate.

“With the fate of the various on-going U.S. District Court lawsuits uncertain, we believe it is incumbent upon providers to operate in good faith throughout to achieve compliance,” the largest home care association said. “Ultimately, we anticipate that the legal issues will either be subject to a higher court’s ruling or the administration will take actions to modify its rules.  It remains possible that the District Court rulings will be reversed and that the original compliance deadlines will be held in place. While that outcome is not highly likely, a good faith compliance effort will be the best protection a provider can have against any enforcement action.”

This advice strikes me as the most prudent course of action for business operators. What’s that saying? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst?

You don’t want to get caught flat-footed for failing to comply with the mandate. And the upshot is you’ll have a vaccinated workforce. That is not a bad place to be with a pandemic that is not about to leave us alone anytime soon.

Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected] and follow her @LizaBerger 19.