Retirement Home Service Closed Due to Coronavirus

Wednesday was a big day for us. We received a phone call from the retirement apartments where we have been having our church services. They said that due to the coronavirus, management has decided to cancel all activities that are conducted by non-residents as of Wednesday. We understand the concern.

They said the closure would be until April. However, we anticipate it to be extended. In the meantime, we will attend a local church we have been going to on Sunday evenings.

Within the past few days, it seems COVID-19 is beginning to affect the normalcy of life here in the United States. What about you? We have several blog readers who have told us they are in a lock-down country. How is it affecting you?

We’re so grateful that because of placing our faith in Jesus and accepting Him, as Christians, we have nothing to fear from the coronavirus. In fact, it is an incredible opportunity to share with others the hope we have in Jesus!

Steve and Teri

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:
his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.”
Psalm 112:7

24 thoughts on “Retirement Home Service Closed Due to Coronavirus”

  1. I’m not afraid of the Coronavirus myself but I am involved in the management of a monthly teen activity here in my town and we chose to suspend this activity this weekendsimply because our state and local gov’t. are suspending everything from public school to festivals and yes, visitation to facilities for the aged.
    I do hope those who can, will continue to attend their church services though.

  2. I was thinking of all of you on Tuesday night when I saw on TV that many nursing homes and other older care facilities are closed off to non-residents in a way to mitigate the virus. I am glad to hear that you all are taking precautions to for your care and that of the elderly that you minister to. Take care of yourselves during this uncertain time. Catherine

  3. We do not fear the virus as we put our faith in the Lord. But we do see it as an opportunity to do exactly what God asks: Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
    We care for elderly parents who have compromised immune systems, so we are considering them rather than ourselves.

    But bigger than that is something else. The best way to explain it is via a friends message here – she sent this as she is living in Italy right now during their outbreak. I think it sheds light on an issue that isn’t really shared. Here it is:

    —–
    Because we’re living in Italy during the COVID-19 epidemic, people have asked me questions about it. They’ve asked about whether the media is hyping it up too much or whether there’s real cause for concern. They’ve asked what it’s like living in lockdown mode. I’ve also seen a lot of people compare it to the flu and say there’s no need to panic. I’m not telling people to panic, but I am telling people to prepare for disruptions to their daily lives and try to get away from the flu vs. COVID-19 comparison. At this point (Wednesday, March 11, a little before midday in Italy), the U.S. has just over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Two weeks ago, Italy had about 630 confirmed cases. As of Monday night’s data, there were over 10,000 confirmed cases and 653 deaths. So there have now been more deaths than there were total cases two weeks ago. This virus moves rapidly once it takes hold.
    While the death rate and demographic effects of the virus may be reassuring to some people, the hospitalization rate is what should cause major concern. It’s a supply and demand problem. People want to compare this to the flu, but healthcare infrastructure around the world knows how to plan for the flu – there are fairly predictable patterns every year. The problem here in Italy (and previously in China) is a rapid spike in cases that overwhelms hospital infrastructure and healthcare workers. They’re essentially having to convert all the routine wings of hospitals into intake and treatment for COVID-19 patients. There aren’t enough ventilators to go around, so doctors and nurses are having to decide who not to treat. People over 65 and those younger than 65 with co-morbities often cannot receive adequate treatment. Italy is calling in retired doctors to help. Despite protocols for protection, some healthcare professionals are contracting the virus and having to go into quarantine, which exacerbates the supply/demand problem. Northern Italy is the wealthiest part of Italy, and the Lombardy region, where the majority of cases are, is the richest part of that wealthy region, so the hospitals there are the best in Italy. What really worries Italians is what will happen when the virus takes hold in the poorer regions of the south where hospital infrastructure isn’t as good as in the north.
    The U.S. has those same discrepancies between hospital infrastructure and healthcare worker availability across different regions and urban/rural divides. Think about what the impact of this virus on the healthcare system could mean to you. If you or someone you love has a heart attack, a stroke, gets into a major car accident, or your kid has a serious injury, will a hospital overwhelmed with COVID-19 be able to handle its “normal” level of trauma while coping with the virus? Also, routine and preventative care is mostly suspended during this time. This is not just a straight comparison of flu vs. COVID-19. They are different viruses with different impacts on communities.
    As for how life is during lockdown, it’s really not all that bad. We’ve been dealing with the flu in our house, so for a portion of the time at least, we wanted to be snuggled up at home anyway. We’re doing virtual school, and thankfully, our internet has held up well so far. (Italy has pretty bad internet connectivity, so some of my friends haven’t been so lucky.) We have enough food to get through a couple weeks if we need to, but we have permission to leave the house to go to the grocery store (1 person per family at a time), work, or medical appointments. We can also go on walks outside as long as we stay in our own comune (town/village). It’s really not as bad as we expected it to be. We go a little stir crazy sometimes, but we’ve caught up on shows, movies, played board games and found toys we had forgotten about. At least it’s almost springtime, and there is some sunshine and flowers blooming. As the crisis here worsens, we’re actually glad to do whatever we can to lessen our family’s risk of contracting or spreading it to others. So do your best to prepare your household to be hunkered down if it comes to that. I’ve shared some lessons learned before, but here are a few more tips. Make sure you have a working thermometer. We found out ours was broken when we had the flu, and they’re sold out everywhere. Make sure you have a printer with plenty of paper and ink in case you end up having to virtual school/homeschool. There’s a lot more printing involved that I expected. Pick up some Play-Doh, sidewalk chalk, board games, card games, Legos, and other random fun things you can hide and then bring out one at a time when things get desperate at your house. My kids haven’t done Play-Doh in a long time and have spent several hours over the last few days playing with it. Make sure you have enough OTC meds at your house to last you a couple weeks. (Think about alternating Tylenol and Motrin for kids for a few days when they’re sick). You will likely be instructed not to bring a feverish child to the doctor (and you probably won’t want to) unless they are experiencing other serious problems. So be prepared to treat regular illnesses at home. And PLEASE don’t hoard things. Just get enough for your household to last two weeks. You will have access to stores, and they will continue to stock them.
    Finally, keep Italy in your prayers. Pray for the U.S., too, that there will be adequate preparation and response. Pray for all the world, because viruses don’t respect borders. Pray for the families losing loved ones. Pray for the families losing income and financial security due to the containment measures. Prepare, pray, and be grateful to wake up every day.

    1. Thank you for sharing this. We are living in the UK and I was wondering what the lockdown experience was like and if there were scarcities that weren’t man made and panic driven. There is no access to toilet paper and disinfectant here as well as dwindling supplies of canned and dried foods. Once people stop hoarding items, I hope the stores will be able to cope with demand. We are trusting that the Lord has all these things under His sovereign control and will look for ways to be a light in this situation.

  4. We are definitely beginning to feel the impact in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. My dad is in an assisted living facility and as of yesterday, no one is allowed in for the next 30 days. Last night I heard of one large church in the area that is suspending services, and suspect more will likely soon follow. We are retired so we are fortunate to be able to limit our outings and go to stores, errands, etc. at times when it’s less crowded. Most local stores are running out of toilet paper, hand soap, cold & flu products, etc. I won’t say the name, but yesterday a very large store in our area was completely out of toilet paper and hand soap. Sometimes we start to feel anxious about the uncertainty of this daily-changing situation but these are exactly the times where we can be thankful for our salvation, no matter what happens, and knowing that our Heavenly Father is in full control!

  5. We are homeschooled, but our co-op, and some other activities have been suspended and all schools here in Ohio are during online school for three weeks. There is many things like that going on here and even churches are closed. Governor Mike Devine put a ban on any gatherings over 100. Yikes!

  6. I’m a freelance professional musician, so a lot of work has been cancelled and income lost. However, by God’s grace I had a “quiet” month to begin with before COVID19 and I have a little emergency fund.

    1. We have quite a few cases of COVID19 in Colorado do you all have any cases in Kansas? Although our governor hasn’t done anything to protect from further infection in our town because of God’s Word and placing my faith and trust in Him we need not fear. We had a state competition at Bob Jones University in April, and they canceled it due to COVID19. I do know everyone that is not a child of God may be fearful.

  7. I wondered if this might affect y’all. So sad that the elderly will be isolated even more now. With just a handful of presumptive cases in our state, colleges and schools are closing for the semester. Many other drastic changes are taking place. We could not get near the stores yesterday due to the panic buying, and when we finally did, not much was left, especially of basic necessities. Our family does not have the resources to stock up, so we will be trusting the Lord to take care of us (as always) by providing our daily needs if things get quite bad. God is our Rock.

  8. Here in Italy we have been on total lockdown since Sunday night. Elderly people are the ones affected the most by the virus outbreak, and many of the deaths we are experiencing in the country are concerning people aged 75+.
    However, one thing we have learned is that nobody is immune or safe, and we must act in the most sensible way possible, for our sake as well as the sake of those around us.
    These are trying times, times when our Faith is put to the test even more. We must pray and trust the medical community.
    Many blessings, Alice

  9. A group of us mums get together and take our children to a care home it’s a great opportunity to visit the residents and allow the children to play, unfortunately during this time we have been advised that the care home has suspended the play sessions during this time until further notice, this is understandable as the elderly are more vulnerable.

  10. We’ve begun to have a few cases here in AZ, and I’m nervous because I’m scheduled for a test at a hospital next Thursday. I’m worried, but I think it’s better to get it over and done with even though I hate to be near any medical centers right now. Our local community is quite elderly and part of the demographic that is in the most danger from this virus, and I’m concerned for everyone both locally and globally.
    I received a stent last March, but due to new symptoms and the fact I’m on the young side for heart disease, my doctor wants me to have another one. I’ve completely changed my diet thanks to the McDougall Program, and I’ve lost weight. I just feel so defeated right now. I know you have so much also happening in your family, and I’ve been keeping you in my prayers.
    Any kind thoughts my way would be so appreciated; could you please pray for me again as you did last year when I had to undergo this procedure? The comfort of knowing prayers were being lifted for me was immeasurable, and your kindness never forgotten.

    I hope everyone stays safe and well–take care!

    1. I am sorry you have to face stents again, especially after making such major changes to your diet this past year. It would be very discouraging. Yes, I will pray.

  11. I am also involved in a nursing home ministry. We held our usual Wednesday morning prayer service, but we didn’t shake hands with the residents during the “peace”. Then on Thursday, everything in my state changed very quickly. My pastor, along with the other people involved in the nursing home ministry, decided to suspend it until further notice. Not long afterward, my pastor sent out notice that we will not be holding church services for the remainder of March. I will miss my church family, but we have several members who have serious health conditions, so it’s for the best.

    I will continue to keep your family in my prayers, especially Anna Marie and your precious Gigi. (I miss my grandmothers so much! You are so blessed to have her with you.)

  12. Here in South Texas in the Corpus Christi area, we haven’t had any cases as of yet. Most universities and public school systems are taking extended Spring Breaks and are shutting down. My husband had a week long business trip to Colorado for this coming week cancelled. (Several virus cases have been discovered in Denver, Fort Collins, etc. where he would be traveling too.) All business related travel for some companies has been suspended. A huge impact on the Gulf Coast was when the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo was cancelled last week. A huge financial and heart blow to thousands of families who have worked hard all year long. It’s been very sad. We have horses and hear of many rodeos and horse competitions being cancelled. Also hearing of several very large churches in Texas and Colorado have cancelled services for this weekend. Our oldest daughter teaches piano and was scheduling a recital for a nursing home in April. It is now tentative, waiting to see if the CDC encourages reopening facilities by then.

    Yes, it’s all a bit crazy. I tell our girls that they are living history. Never have we seen anything like this in our lifetime. We are praying for leaders to have good judgement and wisdom to do what is best for everyone.

    I feel so badly for those who live alone or are isolated in facitilies. I’ve wondered how I might encourage some folks in those situations. I hope believers will consider how we might offer out the hope we have. For it is great!

  13. We’ve had major impacts here. Our church has moved to online services for the rest of the month; our children’s music lessons and orchestras have been canceled for at least another month; our homeschooling group has postponed upcoming events, my mother’s senior program has closed, and our local colleges are moving to online classes for the rest of the semester. Yesterday, even our public schools announced they will be closing indefinitely. (I’m so glad I homeschool!)

    I certainly don’t want anyone to get sick, but I have to admit, I am loving being able to clear our schedule and stay home with my family. For some time, I have felt stretched too thin, so the restrictions are actually a breath of fresh air for me, especially since my husband will also be switching to working from home remotely.

  14. We aren’t allowed to visit our nursing home any more either. We are trying to stay put in hopes we don’t catch the Coronavirus. All we can do is pray and trust in Jesus!

  15. My 98 year old mother is in assisted living which is now on lock down. She’s just been there two weeks so I asked her how she felt about the. I was told that my youngest sister had brought her extra toilet paper and my other sister had brought her 5 library books so she was all set. My d-i-l is independent living facility which is also on lock down and she says she’d doing fine and plenty of food and other supplies.

    I went to church this morning. Only around 40 people there, but no one was shaking hands or hugging. Since I’m well prepared to stay home and since I’m older and have asthma, I’m thinking self-quarantine for the duration might be my best choice.

    I’m very thankful the Lord led me a number of years ago to keep stocked up on food and other supplies. I have what I need and have not been competing for supplies that panic buyers have stripped from the stores.

  16. Dear Teri and Steve,

    writing from Europe here (Austria)… sorry it is long but it IS a life and death issue.

    Please take this virus VERY seriously. It may only be a “little” more harmful for “most” people than the flue, but -first- we can’t know for sure at this point who would get very sick or even die from this, and -second- the exponential spreading of the virus is literally bringing “well-developed” countries down. China’s methods are not doable in most countries/cultures so -not counting on miracles- the only other way is to delay the virus’ spreading so that health systems and other critical country systems hopefully can keep up.
    In Italy it already doesn’t work any more in the hospitals. As in war situations, doctors already have to decide who can get breathing help and who can’t, because there aren’t enough breathing devices. Health personal already work in extreme conditions. In France there already are awful health situations in some areas as well. It goes awfully fast with this infection.

    PLEASE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO GET ON AN UNDEFINITE SELF-IMPOSED QUARANTINE.

    Every single small social contact reduction gives authorities a little more time to prepare hospitals etc. for the worst. We assume now that many symptom-free people are infected and unknowingly carry the virus over. In Italy people in hospitals have to die alone (already no hospital visits allowed for 14+yo in Austria either). If dying people were able to talk (many aren’t any more) they may have spoken on the phone with their loved ones before dying- or not. I am grateful for our Austrian government that took harsh measures early on. Strict confinment everywhere. Burials already take place only only outdoors with max. 5 persons and no relatives near the grave. Not one church service at all since this weekend. etc…

    I’m not writing this to scare you, but to make you (and hopefully others) aware that EVERYONE has the moral obligation to reduce social contacts as much as possible RIGHT NOW. Your country and many people’s lives depend on what every single one of you does or doesn’t.

    ONE OF THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES IN THIS FIGHT AGAINST THE VIRUS IS THE UNAWARENESS OR DENYING ATTITUDE OF MANY PEOPLE.

    And yes, I trust God too.
    “Pray as if you couldn’t do anything
    Act as if God couldn’t do anything”

    Love in Christ,
    Anne-Laure

  17. Add-on for clarity’s sake… Strict quarantine means that the only reasons to go out of one’s living quarters are:
    1. go to do a critical job (you may not have much choice for this depending on authorities’ decisions)
    2. basic errands (only groceries/medical), only 1 person per household
    3. help other people who can’t help themselves
    4. have a walk if absolutely necessary, but only with the people you’re living with. /walk dogs
    Generally maintain at least 1 meter distance if passing by other people.
    that’s all!!!

  18. Hi Maxwells. You might remember me as CanadianMom from the Moms Board days. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a city of nearly 1 million people. Things have changed very, very, very rapidly here.

    My suggestions are to make sure you have groceries and medicines for two weeks. Reach out to family, friends and neighbors to make sure they’re okay. Keep your eyes on God and off all social media and all but local news. Only go to your province/state/territory government health website. Finally, be mindful of how quickly things can and will go south and remember, God is in control and the born-again Christian need not fear death.

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