Musings from the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic in a Seniors Community (with reference to Mother’s Day)
March was a long month. It was only 31 days, but it felt like 80. April has sped up a bit, but still feels like molasses dripping off the counter. How come?
March was a crisis month. The COVID-19 pot boiled over in less than 48 hours and when it arrived, we were faced with a threat to the lives of 350 residents. It stretched us all. We ramped up sanitation to the zenith level. We pulled all activities off the calendar. We changed “on the fly”. Staff were redirected to do “only essential tasks” and if smaller things got left undone, so be it. Residents were strongly encouraged to “stay on campus”. We closed our dining room and began to deliver meals to resident’s rooms. We informed family and friends and vendors and volunteers – that Hopehill was restricted access till further notice. It was in effect a “lockdown”. We lived with bated breath for 2 to 3 weeks as we adjusted to the new reality. And after about 21 days, new habits became old habits, and we rolled into April.
Here is where we are at today.
As of this article being written (late April), we have had zero positive cases of COVID-19. If you are a person of faith, shout “hallelujah”. If you aren’t, then look in the mirror and give yourself a high five. We have learned new patterns of distancing, yet caring. We are wearing protective equipment, but trying to be human while looking a little sub-human. This will be our journey for the next 60 days, and then we’ll see how life evolves.
A feel good story in the midst of all this
We ran into protective equipment supply issues early in the game. Broadway Church (a near neighbour to us) heard about it and put the word out in their congregation. Their members put heart and soul into sewing 150 personal masks for residents and workers to use. Take a look at their 4-minute video if you have a chance. It’s a beauty.
One last thing, May 10 is Mother’s Day. Just over 70 years ago, a number of people set themselves the task to raise $500 to purchase the land Beulah presently sits on. They bought carnations in bulk and proceeded to sell them over the Mother’s Day weekend and together raised $500 to fund the initial purchase. It was an opportunity, not an obstacle.
Happy Mother’s Day. Don’t be afraid to give your mom a physically distant hug this year, if you can.
Jamey McDonald, Chief Executive Officer