For the first time since Marina has been editing the Moosehaven Newsletter, she can actually say a copy has gone viral. I think every article in this newsletter will say something about the new Chinese Corona Virus Disease, COVID-19. After all it is, or should be, at the forefront of our minds.
This is a brand new disease we are all thinking and talking about. It is so new that the two most important things we know about it are there is no vaccination to prevent you from getting it and there is no medication that will cure the disease; we can only treat the symptoms and let it run its course. 96% of people who acquire COVID-19 eventually recover with some having only mild symptoms and some with more serious symptoms including pneumonia. 4% of all people who acquire the virus die. 14% of people over 80 years of age who acquire the virus die. Numbers like that certainly get your attention. So what can we do? Avoid it, and if we can’t avoid it entirely, contain it. That is why all the precautions and social distance measures were put in place. There have been significant changes to our daily lives here at Moosehaven that will stretch out over several weeks. All of these changes are an attempt to keep everyone as safe as we can.
At the center of all this activity is the Moosehaven COVID-19 Response Team. The team consists of John Capes, Helen Taylor, Terri Reed, Anne Cronin and me. I think you all know John, most of you have met Helen and some of you might remember me from the talent show or something like that. If you had a stay in the Health Care Center you got to know Terri as the Director of Nursing. But not as many of you know Anne Cronin. Anne is our Infection Control and Prevention Nurse and she plays a key role in avoiding infections in general and on this team in particular. So let me introduce you to her.
Anne is originally from Maine, but we like her so we overlook that. She is married and has three adult daughters (we will return to them in a minute) and several grandchildren who fill Anne’s free time. Anne became a LPN in 1983 and a Registered Nurse in 1984. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Niagara University. She worked for 10 years as a Coronary Intensive Care Nurse in Batavia New York. Anne has worked for the past 23 years in Long Term Care in Florida with over 12 years at Moosehaven. She specializes in Staff Education with a strong emphasis on Infection Prevention. She is what the government refers to as an Infection Preventionist. They use this title to make it clear the goal is to prevent infection not control it once it happens. Anne attends additional training on Infection Prevention every year, including training on disaster response about two months ago.
I mentioned Anne’s three daughters. They have all followed her into health care as a Veterinarian, Physician’s Assistant and an ARNP, dually certified in Trauma and Gerontology. Her husband works for Dell Medical. So what do you think they’ve talked about at the Cronin house for the past 35-40 years and still talk about today? Health care and service to others are a way of life. She is kind of intense about it. You might say obsessive. Anne watched an episode of Monk on TV and did not notice anything unusual (If you don’t remember Monk you won’t get this, so look it up.)
Here is what Anne has to say about our current situation. “The most important thing is to rely on accurate information from credible sources like the CDC and the Department of Health. The primary things you can do is WASH YOU HANDS frequently for at least 20 seconds, clean surfaces touched by others, cover your cough or sneeze with a cloth or tissue or your elbow. Keep your six foot distance from others with no group get togethers. Don’t forget why we are doing all of this. You are the person who can do the most to make sure you and those around you stay healthy. Don’t get bored and lose focus.”
That’s what Anne says. I would listen to Anne.