Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just In Case...

Well folks, the flu/virus hysteria has hit our retirement community big time.  Two residents have called in sick and management is falling over each other with ideas to nip the problem in the bud.  It all goes back to last year when we did have a virus sweep through the community causing a lock down for thirteen days.  This is how it works here.  If the number of sick cases reaches ten, the home goes into quarantine.  This means that residents can't come out of their apartments and visitors can't come into the building.  All activities cease.  Meals are brought to your room by servers wearing latex gloves and surgical masks.  The largest threat to the spreading of a virus is residents touching things that other residents have touched.  This happens frequently in the dining room.

Four more people reported in sick during the first week of the quarantine.   Then it peaked and residents started recovering.  The quarantine did its job by stifling the virus and stopping its spread.  Little by little the sick count fell until it finally went below ten and the quarantine was lifted.

Not wanting to go through quarantine again this year, management has enacted certain procedures to limit the spread of any virus.  Most of these new rules concern the dining room.  Here's what they came up with:

  • The large communal coffee pots have been removed.  Coffee is served by the managers at each meal, however the communal pots were there for residents to use outside of mealtime. That's kaput.
  • All fruit bowels and baked goods trays have been removed from the service counter.
  • The small menus which graced each table are gone.
  • The water carafe on each table has disappeared.  Water is now portioned out by the servers, much like the juice, iced tea, and lemonade. 
  • Bowls holding creamer for coffee have been taken away.
  • Bowls filled with butter and margarine are gone.
  • Bowls of sugar packets have also been removed from tables.

Will these changes prevent the spread of viruses in our community?  We'll see.  Should the number of sicknesses continue to rise quarantine will be used again to stop it.  In the meantime residents will have to cope with the inconvenience that the new course of actions incur.

How long will the sickness hysteria continue?  Good question.  It seems as though the changes will be with us for some time, perhaps until the spring thaw.  Like viruses themselves, hysteria is not easily quelled.  There was a way to handle it back in the late 1800s but I don't think that such methodology would be appropriate in a retirement community today.

In the meantime, let's hope no one else gets sick.  There's no telling what lengths management will go to stop the rising tide.

- Y

1 comment:

  1. The above procedures were started at the noon meal on Tuesday, January 22nd and ended at the noon meal on Saturday, January 26th, after this article posted.