Diary 3/12/20  

            Kendal’s watchwords are: calm, proactive preparation. At our regular health forum for the entire community yesterday afternoon, Covid 19 was the only topic of discussion. The doctor who is our medical director, the head of our nursing staff, the staff infectious disease specialist, and the chief health services officer were all on hand to inform us of the changes we have established for this month though things may change daily if necessary. As they did overnight. That turned out to be our last large community gathering for a while.

The Care Center area where I live is the most affected as we house the most elderly and health compromised residents at Kendal. The breakfast venue directly across the hall from me has closed, as will the nearest dining area. Meals will be brought to our rooms. Eating together is one of the most likely ways to spread the virus- a warm open mouth is an irresistible invitation for infection. Singing together is likewise not a good idea. The rest of the Kendal community can no longer come through our halls on their way to elsewhere in the sprawling facility. Entrances to the outdoors from our end of the world are locked and the inside hallways leading to the larger facility have been closed with unlocked doors. Many nearby cottage dwellers now have a much longer way to go around to get to the main entrance of the building.

Vendors and service people will be checked at all entrances for a fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath before they receive the all clear sticker to deliver their goods and services. Staff and families coming from the outside must do the same. Our Oberlin Quaker meeting is held in another building on our campus and no one from town can now attend, nor can folks from town use the pool or use Kendal to meet for other ongoing projects. The children’s Early Learning Center down the hall is closed after tomorrow, as are all Ohio schools for early spring break or longer. In Ohio, gatherings of more than 100 people are banned, so there will be no more all community events in our own auditorium until further notice.

lf the number of cases escalate locally, which I fear is likely, we are doing our best with more intense personal handwashing hygiene entering and leaving any room-I haven’t forgotten to wipe down my cell phone and rollater handlebars. Perhaps our efforts will at least make it easier for local medical establishments to deal with a potential influx of ill people if we can slow down the spread of Covid19 on our end.

Today in the Care Center, it is very quiet. Because I have friends from the larger community who often dropped in to see me, I will now have to stay in touch via cyberspace and phone. This situation is nudging me to do more reaching out than I am used to, and since I am a little stronger, I can do this. For some of my Care Center neighbors in their 90’s and the woman down the hall who is 102, the change of routine is anxiety producing and very disorienting. They don’t have computers to Skype with and a couple of them are largely blind. Visitations and resident volunteer support will drop off and we worry about isolation for those who depended on them for contact. I will reach out to my elder neighbors more often than I have done in the past as I can no longer attend my usual meetings or lead my meditation groups.

The entire staff is on high alert and well educated as to their new duties which will undoubtedly increase as time goes on. I am slowly dealing with these adjustments. We will wait and see. The whole world is adjusting, and waiting, not just my tiny corner of Kendal in Ohio with our calm, proactive preparation. Making more of an effort to safely reach out to others is now incumbent upon all of us wherever we live.

11 thoughts on “Reaching Out

  1. Felt weird to hit Like on this – we need the variety of emojis!

    More hugs from us to you, Judi. We just sent our regrets to our choir that we won’t be able to come in for rehearsal until the news shows we’ve got containment. Tonight’s news is that Prime Minister Trudeau’s spouse Sophie has just tested positive for COVID-19…….

    What a time….
    Yours,
    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Judi, Each day is more bizarre than the last one. Perhaps greeting the unknown and uncertainty of each day has always been there, but now it is just being highlighted. I know you have ways of connecting while being in an isolated environment, and I know that you will support your friends and neighbors there as best you can. I remember Thich Nhat Hanh telling a story about how if only 1 person on the boat (escaping Viet Nam) was calm, it changed the atmosphere of the whole boatful of people. I’m sending lots of love, be well, take care, Bonnie

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    1. You take care as well, Bonnie- right now I have an abundance of loved ones reaching out- both those new friends who live here in the larger community beyond the Care Center, as well as forever friends and family farther afield. Indeed, change has come in a global way and the uncertainty of how long and when and the unanswerable why, is always there but using your words- highlighted in neon lights right now. And so we live and bring love and calm as best we can right where we are. Love to you and yours, J

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  3. “Crisis tears down and breaks up, which is momentarily painful, but
    transformation is unthinkable without it… Crisis shakes loose ingrained,
    frozen habits so that new growth becomes possible.” ~**Pathwork Guide
    Lecture #183 Judi, You of all can see many ways to lead others even in quarantine, no? Still leading meditation … communicating via the ‘electronic’ filter. Check out Azimov’s Naked Sun 1957 but … well, I’m sure you can make new ideas from this. Bonzi!!

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    1. There is a lot stirring up as we are settling down. And, yes, new meditations for this population are already in the works for small groups, sitting six feet apart….Agreed: hopefully, breakdown and building up again will lead us to new realizations and sustainable foundations upon which to rebuild. xoJ

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