Contributed by WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, 2020 Spring/Summer
The Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a serious disease with serious consequences for our local communities.
Since the earliest news of the outbreak overseas, your team at WhidbeyHealth and at other area medical centers have taken immediate steps to prepare, respond, and stay flexible to meet the challenge head on. We’ve reallocated staff, contained exposure to patients, visitors, and staff and reallocated resources to where they’re most needed. Decisions have been carefully weighed in favor of safety over convenience with a constant eye on the horizon: accelerating our return to more normal lives.
Responsive Communities and Social Distancing
Medical centers have not done this alone. Our incredibly responsive communities have pitched in like never before.
One example is ‘social distancing’ – preventing community spread by enlarging our personal space. This is difficult for warm and friendly people, but it’s more than a policy. Social distancing has emerged as a rallying cry, a way to contribute, a way to take positive action steps. One minor inconvenience has become the most important thing we can do to protect our family and friends. Many are adding a little humor as they invent alternatives to shaking hands and hugging. We’re finding ways to be social even while “social distancing.”
Responsive Communities Are Not Hermits
We aren’t becoming hermits – far from it. Everywhere we look, people are checking in with each other. Phone calls, video calls, errand-running, sharing inventory of household goods… the list goes on. Our favorite merchants are changing their businesses to accommodate the challenge with delivery, curbside pickup, and sometimes gift certificates to help those most affected. Childcare and the nutritional needs of our youth are being met in ways we could never have imagined.
It is not a stretch to say that, at times of crisis, the fabric of our communities get stronger in many ways. Inaction turns to action. The compassion we have always had now bubbles to the surface as we work together to face the day’s hurdles, one neighbor at a time.
Together we can weather any storm, but we must continue to be vigilant in protecting each other in this season and in all seasons. WhidbeyHealth providers and staff are humbled to be a part of the amazing communities in Northwest Washington.