As we enter the second half of 2020 and the start of our new fiscal year, there is one defining word that comes to the forefront of my mind. Resilience. The resiliency I have witnessed around the world but especially here within Mercy Home over the past few months has been nothing short of astounding.
From March to June, many of us had to pause our lives due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. As New Yorkers, living in the epicenter of the pandemic, we experienced a sudden and rapid shift into new norms. For the first time ever, the stores were closed, no one was walking around, and there were limited subway and bus options.
We were required to wear masks and face coverings when going outside, we waited on lines to enter supermarkets and pharmacies -- all while maintaining the mandatory six feet social distancing guidelines. And for the first time in recent memory, all social and large gatherings were forbidden. This meant no programs or activities for residents, no joyful weddings, no loved filled funerals, and for our youth, their rite of passage to proms and graduations were cancelled. These were the sacrifices we made, all to stop the spread of the virus and prevent further loss of life. There is no question about it. It has been tough, and it has been especially tough on the developmental disability community and our essential workers.
During the height of the pandemic, group homes were not recognized with the same urgency or funding as hospital and nursing homes. This made procuring protective equipment like face shields, masks, gowns, and shoe covers difficult to access, as there was already a national shortage. It was with the resiliency of our staff who came to work, day in and day out, putting their safety at risk in order to provide that safety for the men and women we care for. It was the determination and love from supporters like you, who donated thousands of PPE including face masks and face coverings, gloves, shoe covers, and gowns as well as cleaning supplies and came together to send over breakfast, lunch, and dinners to our staff and residents.