October – American Pharmacists Month

Pharmacists Month is a time to recognize pharmacists’ contributions to health care and share the positive impact of our work in our community. This year it has also been a time for reflection on both how far pharmacy has advanced and its future potential during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence and spread of COVID-19 is truly unprecedented event in our lifetimes. Take time to enjoy the photo series and learn more about the history of Kelley-Ross, founded in 1925.

The popularity of show globes as a symbol of pharmacy has waxed and waned since their introduction to America in the late 18th century. There are many theories and origin stories for the show globe, but it is thought historically they served as a beacon, signaling to the illiterate populace where to find medical aid. At various times, the colors of the liquids were also used to signal whether there was a sickness in town or whether the public was overall healthy.

A few show globes are displayed in Kelley-Ross pharmacies, but the one pictured here is my favorite. In the rare spare moment, I watch the cars on the street below travel by upside down. Seeing the world upside down, refracted through the glass, feels a bit like life right now. 2020 is a year full of surprises but we are hopeful and looking forward to the future ahead!

COVID-19 Cases – King County, WA

Rather than checking the color of the show globe at the corner store in town, we now check the Washington Coronavirus Data Dashboard where epidemiologist provide public access to well-updated pandemic statistics. Access to this amount of detailed data is fantastic and empowers the public to make well-informed decisions about their health. Unfortunately, King County set a record for daily coronavirus cases recently, 224 on October 26th, as we being to experience the so-called third wave of the pandemic. All across the country epidemiologic curve are starting to look like a rollercoaster, which is becoming emblematic of 2020.

The mortar and pestle is another traditional symbol of pharmacy that you can find at Kelley-Ross. The use of mortar and pestle to grind spices and prepare medicinal herbs dates back to the Stone Age before 20,000 BCE. The traditional mortar and pestle on the left is approximately a foot in diameter! On the right, an electronic mortar and pestle which is used to ensure product quality and uniformity when mixing compounded ointments and creams.

Al Kelley and A.E. Katra, the second generation owners of Kelley-Ross, grew the business to one of the largest pharmacies by prescription volume in the 1950s. Since then Kelley-Ross evolved as a business, prioritizing innovation and serving the Seattle community. This year, protecting our local community from illness through influenza vaccination is vitally important. Kelley-Ross is getting creative, aiming to provide flu shots to as many people possible while limiting the spread of COVID-19. Stay safe and healthy!

Thank you pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and assistants for everything you do for your patients and in your communities!