May 7, 2020
We are Hopeful
Minnesota, indeed most of the world, continues to live through the Covid-19 crisis. Minnesota has extended its stay-at-home-order until May 18. Homeward Bound remains buttoned up as well, with highly restricted visitation, and no external activities. We continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus within our community, working in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health, to ensure that we take all necessary and appropriate steps. Our experience has been both inspiring, sad, and hopeful all at the same time.
We have experienced our victories and defeats. On the challenging side, the virus has invaded our larger facility and two of our smaller ones. Several individuals have tested positive with the virus, some staff as well, and we have lost two beautiful and wonderful members of our community. These were devastating losses to our staff and residents as well as their families and friends.
However, many of our residents and staff have tested negative. A large number of the residents who tested positive have passed through their quarantines, and either tested negative or been clinically cleared on the other side. These victories have inspired our staff. gladdened their hearts, and make them work all the harder to bring those who still need care through the ordeal and to contain its spread.
Above and Beyond
The reaction of HBI’s staff, especially those who do what I call the real work of direct care and nursing, has been admirable, inspiring, and amazing to me. Underpaid, treated with at best indifference by state and federal policymakers, they have been motivated by their loyalty and love for the individuals. They have worked at some risk to their own health, or to the health of their families. With some staff testing positive, we have had some staffing challenges but in the end various staff stood up and helped to cover the open shifts. Some staff with direct care experience who now work at the corporate office came over to our larger facility to help out working with some of our positive individuals.
Much in the media has been written about the bravery of our health care workers, and retail workers and truck drivers. I wish to take nothing from them. To me though, the most admirable of all are the nurses and the DSPs who work with individuals who have disabilities.