Coronavirus Chronicles, Issue 2

from the director
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Dear Imagine friends and family,

As with every one of our friends and neighbors, this has been a challenging second month of crisis. We continue to prepare for the trial to get harsher, but I’m glad to report that as of this writing the coronavirus and its consequences have not overwhelmed us. In fact, Imagine has been strong enough to extend temporary support to one individual who was displaced due to COVID-19-related decisions and to prepare to serve non-Imagine clients who test positive during their convalescence. (Note: staff working with individuals recovering from COVID-19 will not work or come into contact with existing Imagine clients.) We have distributed gallons of home made hand sanitizer to other organizations serving people with developmental disabilities, economically challenged or immigrant communities.

We remain very proud of our community. Direct care staff, managers, clients, families and friends have worked together with a great spirit. Direct care staff, in particular, have been magnificent.  Showing up every day and covering each other’s shifts as necessary so that anyone with any symptoms can stay home responsibly. We can continue to research, learn and plan for a reversal but we’re very grateful to those who have made things go so well. We still haven’t had a case among our clients or employees. In Santa Cruz County, although the disease continues to spread slowly, the number of people considered recovered has, in recent days, been growing faster than the number of confirmed cases. This suggests that for now the peak has passed.

Communication is harder during shelter in place and we want to let you know of some opportunities that developed to keep us all in community together.  

  • There are weekly telemeetings set up for employees of Imagine. These take place every Thursday at 10AM and 7PM. The Executive Team attends each of these and all employees or family home providers of Imagine are invited.
  • There will be monthly stakeholder meetings for family members and conservators of people we serve.  These will take place on the last Wednesday of each month at 4PM.
  • Service teams are encouraged to set up remote game nights, parties, meetups and social events using among and between the individuals we serve.
  • If any stakeholders not listed above would like a broader community tele meeting please let me know. If you would like to participate in any of the events listed, please write to Lili. The tele-meeting platforms are subject to change.

Before we (kinda) leave this topic, I do want to let you know how grateful and proud I am to count myself as a member of the Imagine community. We spend a lot of time planning for and thinking about the future. Throughout that process, we hope that if something big comes up that we haven’t planned for, that we will be able to rise to the occasion. This has been big, bad and we did not see it coming. Yet we have met the challenge wonderfully.

I really want to change the anonymous Imagine family members who donated most of the ingredients for our home made hand sanitizer as well as the nonanonymous Plumlees who helped with the manufacture.

Not all of the challenges due to Coronavirus have arrived. The California state budget has been decimated. In his speech regarding the budget, the Governor warned that there would be no new increases in funding for almost anything, that some funding levels might be cut and that the pandemic has taught us the value of homeless services and in-home care for people with illness, disability and the elderly. We can hope to be spared the worst of what is to come, but we can’t predict how bad that is. For that reason, Imagine will, for the next few months, prioritize the health and safety of our clients and staff, followed by our gratitude and our need to save for the uncertainties that are almost upon us.

In the Human Resources column this month, Patty has updates on the coronavirus and our approach to keeping folks safe and healthy as well as a reminder that now is open enrollment for our benefits.

The Human Race is here. Considering our current situation and our sober participation this year, we are doing really well.  As of this writing Imagine is running a little behind the last few years but plenty well enough thanks, especially to Simone, Sophie and Eliot our returning champion fundraisers.

As ever, if you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  You can write me here.

Gratefully yours,

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