bona vista hand washing

GERM-FREE — Bona Vista person served, Shawn, shows staff how well he can wash his hands during the current pandemic. While this is always a universal precaution taken at Bona Vista, look how proud of himself he is!

Wow. Where do I even start? Normally in this space Bona Vista is telling you about an upcoming event that we are putting on, a person served or staff person who is out in the community doing amazing things or even how an intern or volunteer has impacted our organization. This week, though, much of that has stopped.

There are no events. There is no one going out in the community (unnecessarily). There are no interns or volunteers allowed in our buildings.

You know what hasn’t stopped, though? Our amazing staff. They are on the front lines along with healthcare workers, emergency personnel, and many of you who are still working day-to-day because the work you do is 24/7. We see you. We are with you. You are not alone.

In fact, we’ve started referring to our staff as “mission-critical.” This isn’t just a buzz word that we’ve made up during this time, though. They are mission-critical every single day that we operate and have been for the past 61 years that we have been a part of this community.

We don’t close. Let me rephrase that, actually. We CAN’T close (totally). Sure, some of our early childhood kiddos may be able to stay home with their guardians. Sure, some of our adults who come to us for day programming can stay home, too. Sure, some of our adults who have community employment will be staying home because their employers aren’t open.

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However, the adults who live in our group homes and even some adults who live in their own homes still need staffed 24/7. The administrative staff that has been meeting, planning, and processing daily updates and changes still is working. Our nursing staff is ensuring those we serve are symptom-free and educating on best practices from the CDC. Our maintenance and janitorial employees who are disinfecting, sanitizing, and purchasing everything we need to continue are doing their best. I could go on.

When people are trying to decide if they’d like to work for us, I always tell them that it’s a work of the heart. If you’re not in it because you love and care about those we get the privilege to serve, then this isn’t the place for you. I mean it. This situation is proof of that, if nothing else. Our staff has continued to come to work in the face of uncertainty because they know those we serve rely and depend on them. I am so proud of each and every one of them, too.

I, personally, have never lived through a time such as this. I’m guessing most of you haven’t either. That’s what is important to remember. I’m not going to have all of the answers, and neither are you. That’s OK! We are working through them together (from a safe distance). And, we are going to learn quite a bit by the time it’s all over – about a pandemic and each other.

Make sure that the lessons you learn and those that others learn from you are of teamwork, cooperation, patience, understanding, caring, kindness, respect, and love.