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David Swartley COVID Update #7

TO: Residents and Staff

FROM: David Swartley, President/CEO DATE: April 10, 2020
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update #7

Earlier this week, my video update expounded on “Toe the Line.” Indeed, with Easter upon us, this may be the most challenging part of this entire journey.

Data from Pennsylvania affirm that social distancing is working very well. Please, let’s not “blow it” this weekend! Easter is no reason to do anything different than you have for the past couple of weeks.

I quote one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain. He states, “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” “It is the prohibition that makes everything precious.”

I am interpreting this as an encouragement to keep our habits as “in check” as possible. That second part relates to human nature. If you tell me not to do something, I want to do it all the more (this is a one-sentence biography of my teenage years). My father, who was a pastor, once commented on my behavior, saying, “I don’t believe we will be reporting that in the church bulletin this week!”

You get the picture; we need to fight our instincts more and more as we traverse through each week. Easter makes it no easier.

In that line of thought, sending flowers and food to residents at Moravian Manor Communities will never look as precious as this weekend. We are not receiving them for distribution. We have contacted most of the local florists and asked them not to send flowers to Moravian Manor Communities. We have also communicated this restriction with the Power of Attorney for our residents in our care areas. These restrictions are very difficult for loving family members on a special holiday.

You will see signs posted today at our main entrances exhorting residents and our broader community to honor the social distancing order. We will also be posting signs around the perimeter of our health center, stating that our campus is closed. Unfortunately, some other communities are permitting “window visits,” and this has been picked up by the media. To be clear, this is not per Governor Wolf’s “Stay At Home Order,” and we are not permitting such visits at Moravian Manor Communities.

I also want to highlight for Garden Court and Manor Greene residents that we will place a “hard copy” of the Community Life Notes and other updates in your mailboxes. In Manor Green, this means your wooden mail slots, and for our Garden Court residents, the location will be the plastic mail slots on both floors.

We received a call last evening from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The telephone call was a proactive call checking in to see if we had any COVID-19 cases, if so, how many and how we are managing the care areas. I was not on the call, but my understanding is that the conversation was helpful.

Again, we are grateful that we are able to report, “we have no positive cases of COVID-19 as of this morning.” Let’s all do our best to keep it that way. In closing, I share an email I sent our staff last evening.

“Dear Team:

I trust you are all “hanging in there” as we move through another week with the COVID-19 issue as the central topic.

This week has been hard. I have felt the intensity increase from our residents, family members, and staff. Hang in there, do not weaken. Earlier this week, I quoted an Epidemiologist, Jonathan Smith, regarding the Social Distancing. He stated, “Stay strong and in solidarity, knowing that what you are doing is saving lives, even as people continue getting sick and dying. You may feel like giving in. Don’t.”

How true. When it is most challenging, stay strong.

Yesterday, my telephone rang, and it was a resident who resides in skilled nursing. I do not receive many calls from skilled nursing residents. However, she wanted to speak to me directly and express her appreciation for all of you. She said, “Everyone is staying optimistic, working hard, and keeping her safe.” She wanted me to know how much it meant to her. I want all of you to know how much our residents appreciate your work. Thank you!

This week I heard a scripture that I hope has meaning to all, regardless of your faith perspective. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Scripture is meaningless if it is not lived. Thank you for living this verse for the sake of those we serve.”

Let us all choose to live in a spirit of hope, not fear. Blessings to all of you.

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