The Beginning of the Beginning

By Sean Kelly, President and CEO, The Kendal Corporation

March 20, 2020On almost any given day, I look across this Kendal organization and find inspiration, in what people are doing in pursuit of their own goals and aspirations and at the same time, what people do in support of one another, in support of their community and ever more, in support of their fellow man/woman. Kendal is born of ideals that insist that we notice the goodness in one another.

Kendal’s values ask of us to take from all of that goodness and learn. And in learning, continually make things better for ourselves and for the world around us. In times like these, when we can find the quiet moments, it’s actually easy to notice and be determined to learn from the good people around us.

We know today that staff are working tirelessly to ensure that supplies, food and care are provided, and ensuring that the environments can be made as safe as possible. We want everyone to feel safe and hope that you do while at the same time recognizing that every person has a role to play in ensuring a safe community.

Right now, though it’s important to know that we are only at the “beginning of the beginning” of battling Covid-19. The facts before us explain that as much as our calm preparedness has yielded planning and new and effective action forward, there is much much more to come in the way of the spread of this virus. Without sacrificing the power in “noticing” and celebrating so much of the “good” that makes us strong, we MUST now continue to exercise, and INSIST on the vigilance to ensure the good work associated with the most fundamental practices that can keep us and the thousands of people in Kendal’s care as safe as possible.

Infection control, social distancing, hand-washing, surface washing, appropriate isolation, minimizing contacts of all type, these are all things that we MUST do in our work. We need to hold ourselves and every single person around us accountable, especially now.

Additionally, given the enormous magnitude of this crisis and the extreme risk that is before our older population, we also have an obligation to bring awareness to everyone around us, even outside of Kendal, in our households, in our neighborhoods among our social networks. The significance of this Pandemic cannot be understated as we all know. In many ways what is going to happen is out of our control, although how we respond, what we do next and the strength of our voice, is absolutely ours to take forward.

I’m pleased and inspired when I hear Dr. Anthony Fauci say that we should have NO FEAR of over reaction in this moment, no fear of taking our “distancing” and deep care for hygiene and infection control too far, no fear of isolating if we feel we might be the slightest bit at risk, to ourselves, to our families and to the world around us. I’m grateful for the room to be extreme here, in part because I think it gives even more voice to our work and the incredible work happening across Kendal and across our field.

As time goes on, we will all continue to be touched by this Virus in some way. There will be a time when we look back, knowing we acted in accordance with our values and with an expertise and compassion that makes Kendal a special place to do this work. Please stay at it and remember that we are all indeed in this together no matter what.​