Reflecting on Covid-19, One Year Later
Today marks one year since we closed our doors to the public and began working and offering services virtually due to Covid-19. This year has been tough for all of us. Our CEO Alice Forrester reflects on this year in a letter below:
The one year anniversary is upon us— of the pandemic and the offices closing. One year of shifting to telehealth, making sure our technology was ready to support the families we serve. Saying goodbye to seeing our colleagues and clients daily and to reorient to our new work buddies: families, pets, and roommates.
One year of 500,000+ lives lost, many within our own families. Our experiences of grief and loss will impact us for the rest of our days. Our deepest condolences go to all who have suffered this year. Grieving loved ones and our former “normal” permeates everything— the way you feel about yourself, your jobs, families and your physical health. It is hard to imagine going back to normal. We are all exhausted.
How does one take care of this exhaustion? By resting. But that is hard to do when you’ve got crying babies, paperwork backloads and a sink full of dishes. Perhaps we have to practice radical resting— just not doing everything perfect. Perhaps we need to cross one thing off our list and know that can wait. Saying “no” more often. I remind you, “no” is a complete sentence.
Despite the pain and grief, Clifford Beers has shown up in so many ways, doing whatever it took to remain connected. We have canvassed neighborhoods after acts of violence, worked with NHPS to find kids disconnected from the school system, encouraged safe vaccinations in Fair Haven and more. Our warmline Reach Out CT has reached so many people with free emotional support. Our staff found ways to do psychological testing safely. They grew the behavioral tech program to further help families with special needs. When fires and death happened, they showed up with food and care. My deepest “Thank You” to our staff. Crisis called, and they answered without hesitation.
Now, spring is around the corner, vaccinations are available, and there is hope. This will be our next piece of work; re-entering this next stage of reconnecting with others. Now it is time for reflection. I think it will take years to process the depth of impact this time has had on us and our country. We are so grateful for the hard work of our staff, the immense generosity of our donors, and the patience of our families. Take good care of yourselves. Practice radical resting.
We are together in this next transition. Clifford Beers is growing, and you will soon hear of more exciting things happening in the next months. Keep safe and know that at Clifford Beers, we are always here for you. You are not alone.
Warm regards and gratitude,