A shout-out to my colleagues

On April 17, it was reported in the media that 19 residents and 17 staff members at the Easter Seals Gammon Academy in Manchester tested positive for COVID-19. I have worked with the children and teens at Easter Seals as a massage therapist for the past 13 years. Because of the hands-on work that I do there, and because of my age, I have been furloughed, and have been in isolation at home. I have not seen “my Easter Seals kids” or my colleagues since March 15.

I’d like to give a shout-out to all of my colleagues at Easter Seals. As hospital doctors and nurses risk their health every day at work caring for vulnerable people during this COVID emergency, so also do my colleagues at Easter Seals. To me, they are all heroes.

Over the years, I have watched staff who give hands-on, personal care, for some of the children with the most severe needs. They do this work with incredible respect and kindness. I have seen unit staff, supervisors and therapists give authentic emotional support for children and teens who desperately need to be heard AND to have consistent and much needed behavioral expectations and daily structure set for them. I have watched the kitchen and maintenance staff as they go about their work while also taking a quick moment to interact socially with the children.

Perhaps one of the most important group of workers at Easter Seals in this “time of COVID” is the cleaning crew who go about their important work quietly. And the nurses! They couldn’t work fast enough to see all the children that needed to be seen even in the best of times before COVID-19. I cannot even begin to imagine what their workday looks like now. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!!!!!

And, hello to my Easter Seals kids.

I miss all of you so much. I can’t wait until I can see you, and we can work together again. But for now, we must all try to be patient with one another so that we can all be safe together as soon as possible.

COVID-19 is serious business, and we all must find a way to be kind and take care of one another even when we are afraid and stressed out. It is important that all of us do this together right now … all of you at Easter Seals, all of us in New Hampshire, all of us in our country, and all of us the world over … ALL OF US!

Please do your best and stay healthy.