By Autie Atkins, Staff Writer
It’s been a little bit over a week since COVID-19 preparations began, and the only thing that has remained constant for me is working. I work in the kitchen at the Wesbury Retirement Community Cribbs Personal Care Unit, and things have been hectic, to say the least.
We got a call not long after the initial shutdown to serve all residents in their rooms to reduce social interaction. This means that we have been making full meals with snacks and extra drinks on trays for every resident for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We have 78 residents spread throughout two different floors and typically four people available to serve the meals. It takes about an hour to prepare the trays that the meals go on, half an hour to get the trays ready to go, around an hour to deliver all the trays, and about an hour to clean up, including soaking any regular dishware in scalding bleach water.
Every Wesbury employee also has to be screened for signs of sickness before they’re able to start their shift, after which they are required to wear a mask if they have any disease-like symptoms. We are also constantly sanitizing everything, from our hands to the dishes to the carts we use to carry the trays.
This procedure is first and foremost, to restrict the socialization of the residents. To do this, Wesbury has also been canceling activities that had been planned. For instance, we normally have a church group that comes in every Sunday, which hasn’t been allowed since the lock-down. We also do special things for holidays like parties or special meals with guests, none of which happened this St. Patrick’s Day. We have been broadcasting some activities on T.V., like church and bingo, for the residents to enjoy.
There are very strict regulations in place at the moment, but they are necessary to prevent the spread of the flu and COVID-19.
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School