AN UPDATE FROM DAVE:
“One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."
—Margaret Fishback Powers
The COVID-19 pandemic that we are experiencing has been several months where I will look back and certainly only see one set of footprints. These months have led from one disappointment to another. To be completely honest with you, I have struggled deeply with many emotions. One minute, feeling completely frustrated that the residents have to be locked down to being scared to death that we are going to have an outbreak of COVID.
God has taught me so much about myself and has showed me so many times that he has not stopped being God! We can and must trust Him with all of this!
As time marches on, thoughts and opinions regarding COVID get stronger and more deeply rooted. They seem to range from “this is all a conspiracy, a great big hoax” to “this is going to be the end of mankind.” We hear all kinds of “facts” and data and, for every piece of data you hear, there is a reason out there why it can’t be actual data. The world around us is utterly confused or at least a lot of people think everyone around them is confused.
Well, if you’re looking for the answers, folks, I’m sorry to disappoint you, I’m not even going to give you my “facts” (or, rather, opinions). But let me point you to the one true media source. No, I’m not talking about CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, Twitter, or Facebook. I am talking about Jesus Christ and the Word of God. It would do us all good to set aside our own “facts,” stop talking to others about what they know as “fact” and focus upon the only source of real truth: Jesus!
If we’re irritated with Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Trump, Dr. Fauci, Livingston County Public Health or whoever God has placed in our lives to lead us and rule over us, let’s get on our knees and pray for them. Whoever it is that has to make decisions in these unprecedented times needs your prayers right now. Because the real fact is, just when we get things figured out, something changes.
On that note, here’s a little update on what is happening at Fairview Haven.
On August 7, the Illinois Department of Public Health released their version of a reopening plan for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities in the State of Illinois. While there will be some that are miffed about the regulations and guidance in this plan, there will be others that will say there are not enough restrictions. Regardless of what we think, Fairview Haven will strive to meet the requirements and guidelines of IDPH.
Whenever I orient a new team member at Fairview Haven, I go over the qualifications of a team member. The number one characteristic we want to see in our team members is integrity. I explain that, to me, that means we will do the right thing every day.
So, the IDPH reopening plan is divided into three phases. In order to move from one phase to another, Fairview Haven must meet seven criteria:
1. We must have a testing plan and the ability to test (check)
2. We must practice universal source control (wear a mask) and practice good hand hygiene (check);
3. We must implement a universal screening process (check);
4. We must have an adequate supply of PPE, essential cleaning and disinfection supplies (check);
5. We must have adequate staffing (check);
6. We can have no new facility acquired COVID positive cases for 14 days (check).
While we have been successful in meeting all of these six criteria thus far, in order to remain in the phase we are in, we must continue to meet the criteria.
So, you’re probably wondering ... he said seven criteria, but only listed six. No, that wasn’t a typo. See, the seventh criteria is up to you and me! COVID outbreaks and deaths in nursing homes are directly tied to and related to the case status in the community. Therefore, our community must meet certain criteria before we can move forward in the re-opening phases or in order for us to stay in a certain phase. While our team has a lot of work to do in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our residents, this last criteria is solely dependent upon YOU and ME. It is very important that our community is practicing the guidelines/mandates of the State of Illinois and CDC.
If you aren’t aware of what these guidelines are, let me share what are often quoted as the most important guidelines:
1. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer (not too hard – right?).
2. Maintain adequate (that’s defined as 6 feet) social distancing between anyone that is not a member of your household. If you’re wondering what 6 feet looks like, I tell our team members to imagine our DON (Brandon) lying down between you and the other person. If he doesn’t fit, you’re too close. (Granted, this concept will give you a extra few inches, but you get the picture!)
3. Wear a mask/face covering. (don’t stop reading here) Yeah, it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s really not that bad. You and I don’t have to decide if they are effective or not — they either are or they aren’t. Science can be used to prove both thoughts. If they are effective, do we want to err on the side of aren’t? Public health guidance says we should be wearing a facemask when it isn’t possible to maintain social distancing outdoors or whenever we are in a public building in proximity to other people.
So statistics show that, when communities abide by those guidelines, the case status decreases. Maybe the statistics are skewed by the Joe Biden campaign, or by the Donald Trump campaign, but guess what ... if the statistics show that our community has a low case status, then our residents get to live a little.
So let me ask you a question. I know many of us don’t care if we get COVID. It appears it isn’t as deadly as it once was thought to be. BUT, can I plead on behalf of the residents here? Are we willing to sacrifice a little to protect them and let them have a little piece of life back?
Thanks for your consideration of these thoughts!
--Dave Blunier, Administrator