What a couple of months!
I want to thank you for all you have done – pulling together, being creative, adaptive and willing to stretch yourselves on behalf of others. You have been willing to run toward the fire, not away from it. While certainly not surprised, I am very grateful.
I wanted to touch base about how we are moving forward.
It has often been helpful to me to step back and attempt to put activities into context of the bigger picture of what we are trying to do. When I fail to do that, there are times where my expectations can get out of line with the reality of the situation. I can get so caught up in the next thing I want to do, or change, or I want to be done with, that I lose perspective on what I was trying to accomplish in the first place. The last two months has been a time where that could easily happen.
There are a few facts that have been helpful for me to keep in mind during this pandemic.
· The threat to many of us, and many more of the people we serve, is real.
· This threat will only be eliminated when there is a cure/vaccine.
· While most people will recover from this, if you become seriously ill, your best chance to recover is to have access to a medical system with the capacity to respond.
· The best scenario is to not have to ‘recover’ and we can significantly impact the possibility of someone being exposed with a coordinated response.
· It will be impossible to hide until a cure is available and our world is going to present more risk as people return to a new normal and social exposure is increased.
· Society has a long history of overlooking the adaptations necessary for the people we serve to be safe – this moment in time will not be different.
The shutdown and stay at home orders were focused on making sure that we did not have so many COVID-19 cases that we would over run the health system capacity. We have done that in Indiana and even places where they were overrun, they are starting to recover. It also served to allow time for everyone to figure out social distancing, PPE and the business process re-engineering needed to help keep people safe. To get ready for how to proceed moving forward. I am actually astounded when I think about all the guidelines, policies, programs, calls, flexibilities, resources, equipment, etc. that has become available in such a short time. It is amazing what we all can do together when focused and motivated.
Now, we need to continue to put all of that to good use. I think the best way to consider this is to look at it from the eyes of the people we serve – what should they expect from us?
What should the people we serve and their families expect from us?
· They should expect that they are going to get services that are innovative, creative, focused on them and their participation in their home and community to help them move closer to obtaining the good things of life;
· They should expect that we will recognize the current risks and we will do what is necessary to reduce their risk while providing the services they choose to participate. Specifically, they can expect us to practice and role model appropriate precautions including confirmation that those they work with are symptom free, practice social distancing, situation appropriate protective equipment such as masks and gloves, the use of sanitary practices such as hand sanitizer and good hand washing techniques;
· They should expect that we have a workforce trained, ready and willing to provide the services they need;
· They should expect that we will work to provide services in a manner that consider limiting exposure. Specifically, they can expect us to creatively choose service avenues that focus on necessary home and community skills and activities using methods that limit exposure to others, avoiding crowds and places where people are not practicing precautions that might endanger others;
· They should expect when they visit our business locations that we have implemented practices to limit their risk of exposure.
· They should expect that when they need to reach us, interact with us, and have information and service processes performed, they are able to do so.
· They should expect us to decline participation in activities where there is a clear and present danger of exposure or activities that are not in line with governmental directives.
I think we all together have developed responses, provided guidance, support, and instruction over the last two months to accomplish each of these points. We will continue to adapt and protect. We continue to do what we have always done which is figure out and compensate for the gaps. If you know of one, let’s address it.
And we will continue to CARE HARD!