Walked the jogging route. Jogged about one block, to pass someone who was a teeny bit slower than me.
Then I worked on the “no-gathering pledge”, changing the text to be more inclusive and general. The idea, broached by Rhonda a couple of weeks back, is for residents to take a similar no-gathering pledge to what the staff took. I had posted a survey form a couple of days ago, received positive feedback, so need to get the text right, and get with Marcia to talk about her idea to display people’s signed pledges.
At ten, talked to her on the phone. There are in fact three issues we need management input on, so she will set up a meeting with Kim Kurtis the HR for, it turns out, 1:30.
At that time we met in the lobby, me with my freshly printed pledge text and she with some simple candle shapes made of craft paper. Her idea at that point was to distribute the pledge printed on a candle, to all 200 mail cubbies, collect the signed ones, and arrange them artistically around one or more of the big columns in the lobby. This is all moot now.
We went over our items with Kim. Re the pledges: Rhonda herself has prepared a pledge form and will be presenting it at her open meeting this afternoon. I left her a copy of my text to use as input if anyone wants, but that basically squashes Marcia’s idea and my text.
Second, one of our most active meal delivery volunteers asked, what about meal delivery Christmas day, volunteers or staff? Kim took it as an item to check with food service staff, but almost certainly they will want to do the deliveries, as they did at Thanksgiving. Christmas will be like Thanksgiving, normal breakfast, special menu for lunch, and a brown-bag supper so staff can leave early. Possibly they will agree to let volunteers deliver the brown bags around 3pm, letting staff go earlier.
Third, the 11th floor. We had a report that multiple people were using it when no Safety Sitters were there, which is a big no-no. But we get really few safety sitter volunteers. I referred to my experience of yesterday (which I didn’t mention): when I got back from a 2pm walk, the housekeeper was still working on my room, and wasn’t done until nearly 4pm.
Recently the common spaces on all floors (lounge, dining room) have been closed off for COVID reasons. So I had nowhere to sit and wait for the housekeeper. I ended up spending 45 minutes on a tiny sofa facing the elevators. During which it occurred to me, if I had volunteered to sit the 11th floor during this time, I’d have had a comfortable place to sit and read and done some good as well.
Kim liked this, passed it to Rhonda, and at the start of the 4pm open meeting, I was called on to explain this idea. Which I did. Got a couple of friendly questions from the 150 or so attendees.
Then Rhonda took over with bad news, starting with staffing:
As of today, we have 7 staff members who are Covid-positive. And, zero residents. Most of our staff members are symptomatic. One had a visit to the Emergency Room. All are currently recovering.
In addition to the staff members who are Covid-positive, we have an additional 17 staff members who are out due to known exposure, travel, or gatherings. So, 24 employees currently are unable to report to work. This represents approximately 15% of our workforce. Each day we seem to be adding to this total.
As a result they have gone to their “emergency staffing plan” which means, among other things, all facilities requests are deferred to February, and housekeeping is back to a bi-weekly schedule.
Then she got to the really bad news,
One of the things that makes the near future feel so grim is the communication that we have received in a number of formats this week from the California Department of Health and other … organizations. The message is that we need to be prepared for a surge. And, we need to be prepared for the hospitals denying our transfers when demand exceeds capacity.
In addition, we have been advised that the resources for Emergency Staffing through the State and County Emergency Operations Centers have already been depleted… In the conference call with California Department of Public Health earlier this week, they stated that they are working on an arrangement to bring nurses from Australia to provide emergency support.
In order to prepare for additional surge, and assuming that our ability to transfer to the hospital is limited, we are adding 6 beds to the Covid Wing. Bringing the total there to 16. That work has begun. This is a priority and we are diverting all available resources to completing this as soon as possible.
Get that? We are upping our in-house COVID wing (present population zero), anticipating that if we do get any cases, we will have to nurse them here; we won’t be able to transfer them to Stanford, or El Camino, Sequoia, or any other local facility, and won’t be able to get added nurses from the County or the State. Channing House is on its own — if it gets any resident cases. So far we have none.
Rhonda went on at length about how the battle to keep our staff un-infected cannot be done just by staff, it requires the whole community to limit social interactions. On that basis, she has a letter with a no-gatherings pledge that will be distributed on Monday. The idea is, having a pledge on CH letterhead may help when dealing with family members who want to know why we can’t join them this year. (I forgot to mention: Kim Kurtis has two grown sons who, she said, are both mask deniers.)
During the usual lengthy Q&A session, the issue of masks came up. Where do people get more masks? Can we have training on how to buy masks online, because buying things online is foreign to some residents? This one got tossed to Marcia and me. I quickly found that masks cost just over a dime each bought in quantity on Amazon. Later in the evening I realized the best mechanism might be the Resident Association. We could stock masks and re-sell them at cost, or at slightly above costs. I will take this up with President Fiene soon.
In MG TC news, I completed the spark plug wiring as well as a few other things.
In the background, the exhaust manifold painted a nice gray-rust color. However, TRAGEDY, one of the two little black hold-down knobs has disappeared from the top of the rocker cover. I have no idea where this little black button less than 1/8 inch diameter could have gone. I may have to sculpt another one from a black plastic sprue.