Many of us have been doing our very best to keep COVID-19 out of our homes and workplaces. The entire team at Vista Park Lodge had been so fortunate to be able to have done just that. We were the last facility in the province without an outbreak until just recently. This ugly bug crept its way inside Vista Park sometime within the last week of December 2021.
It began on the 2nd-floor, and it took a while to determine what was being dealt with, but after both rapid and PCR tests, we confirmed that it was the virus, COVID-19. Sadly, the testing process is quite slow, with the province overloaded with testing. Afflicting both residents and staff with various symptoms and having approximately 75% of our 2nd-floor residents isolated to their rooms, staffing was an issue. We often worked short-handed by about 2-3 Health Care Aides out of 5 per floor, and our Nurse co-workers were in the same situation.
Having the opportunity to work with this veteran team, this well-oiled machine, I was in awe of how well everyone managed, how everyone organized themselves and worked together to get the most critical duties done. Everyone ensured that our residents were safe, fed and hydrated. Even though they were exhausted and their breaks were delayed, somehow, they managed to come back the next day to the same discouraging staffing situation to do it all over again. All while wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which just increases the heat and exhaustion. For those not accustomed to wearing full PPE, the gown feels like wearing a raincoat in 30-degree humidity with vinyl gloves, a tight-fitting N95 mask and a full-face shield!
Our housekeeping group is constantly sanitizing every surface. The laundry staff is dealing with all the ‘red bagged’ linen, and our kitchen crew is working with disposable dishes and, for some, menus consisting of clear fluids and Jello. Our recreation staff provides extra assistance in the dining room and helps keep some of our residents away from those isolated.
I am in awe of our team and how everyone pitched in!
Heroes do wear scrubs!
Health Care Aide at Vista Park Lodge
UFCW Local 832 Vice President