Dear Imagine friends and family,
We’ve come through a demanding, dangerous year and it is not yet time to spare caution. But the time for us to bring what we’ve learned into a safer community seems to be nearer.
On February 4th and 25th, as well as March 18th, Imagine will be hosting COVID Vaccine clinics for our clients, staff and volunteers. Cases in Santa Cruz County are still at a dangerous level, but a falling one. And cases and exposures have slowed noticeably at Imagine, although we do have one large team exposed. It is not yet safe in our community but it is getting safer. About the time you read this, more people will have immunity to the Novel Coronavirus through vaccination than through infection.
Several Imagine staff were heroic in January and I want to especially thank those who cared for Imagine clients while they recovered from COVID-19. This work was done at risk to the staff’s own health. It was far more demanding of hours and effort than what any of our employees signed up for. In several cases, it cost the staff hours at outside jobs. In at least one case it risked long-planned educational opportunities. I couldn’t be prouder of the way Imagine caregivers have sacrificed to make sure clients with known or suspected cases were well taken care of. That none have needed hospitalization is news I’m glad to report and we’re glad for the good luck that made this so, but even more grateful for the care.
Imagine clients, families and staff can do their part to return the community toward its former openness by continuing to take precautions, taking the vaccine and continuing to support one another through quarantine, isolation, boredom, loneliness, fear and disruption. After a year, the control of this pandemic, when it comes, will bring new disruptions of new habits and we need to support each other through that as well. But that is a chaos lovely to imagine.
We don’t know how long this pandemic will continue, but we know we get to help decide the matter. February brings the prospect of more progress than has been in the past year. Today, four of the people we serve and seventeen of our caregivers have immunity to COVID-19. By the first day in March, we expect all but a few of our clients will have immune resistance to this disease. Perhaps as many as two thirds of our employees will be able to cautiously but confidently provide care to those who do get sick. That represents an extraordinary improvement from today in our ability to keep our promise to those we serve.
So, the pandemic that has defined life for the last year continues to threaten us but may recede too. However long it takes, we’ll get through this together. And when it is over, boy howdy we’re going to have us a party.
Like last month, this month’s newsletter is mostly COVID-focused. But I look forward to writing more broadly soon. We will start adding back the normal columns this month with the Person-Centered Thinking column. We plan to resume the rest in March.
Imagine has been holding monthly telemeetings with family members and conservators of people we serve. The next is planned for January 27th at 4 PM. This is an opportunity to discuss topics on your mind and ask questions, but, for the recent several meetings it has primarily been a conversation about the pandemic and something financial. If you would like to participate, you are welcome. Let Lili know and she’ll see you get the information you need to connect.
The Self-Determination Independent Facilitator’ Network which Imagine founded in partnership with our local State Council on Developmental Disabilities Regional Office now includes more than 100 members statewide thanks to the magic of Remote Everything. The next meeting of the group will be this Wednesday, February 3 at 11 AM.
We have established an Acorn fund for our endowment. Our Holiday Fundraising Campaign remains on course to be our best ever, but the pandemic makes everything complicated. We think that nearly a half of donations are still being processed through matching programs, processors and the community foundation. We’ll report on how we did last month but thank you deeply in the meanwhile.
As ever, if you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can write me here. I look forward to hearing from you.