It seems that each day we break a record in the nation for the number of cases of COVID-19. We continue to try to reverse the trend upward, but it seems the momentum is highly energized. Fortunately, we at Christwood continue to do well with no known cases of the virus on campus.
We are in our third week of testing all of the Health Center residents and all of the staff. It’s a rather monumental job that our regular staff takes on as an extra responsibility. We’ve developed an efficient system that minimizes lost time, but it ain’t time free! The paperwork, swabbing, and labeling of the test samples takes considerable effort. Staff reporting to get swabbed, while not enormously time consuming, requires them to leave their jobs or in some instances to come in on off time. We hear very little grumbling about that. Quite frankly the worst part is that right now many of the staff are getting tested without having received from the State lab the results from last week’s tests. Speaking personally, which I extend to other staff members, there is at least residual anxiety awaiting the return of the test result. Wanting to hear that it is negative, we carry the anxiety until we do. Having to wait for the good report for a week while getting another swabbing adds to the annoyance, if nothing more.
I share this in part because we are testing according to the State more than anyone else in our area. We are larger than many of the service providers, so we have more tests. We get very little push back from the Staff, for which we are grateful. Most importantly, we have a pretty good handle on knowing that we are a COVID-19 free campus. I also share this frustration to let you know that whatever you think of the whole testing effort to prevent and control the virus, it’s far from a perfect system; I don’t believe this just to be a St. Tammany Parish or State of Louisiana issue. Others report even worse scenarios.
The good news about what’s happening in the big picture is the positive reporting on the vaccines, the most recent information comes from the Oxford University Group. While there is skepticism, there is also cautious optimism that these tests will prove to be beneficial for distribution maybe as early as near the start of 2021. Of course, that means that we still have a long way to go; we’ve come a long way, but the imperative is to employ practices that we can endure in support of a good quality of life