I am sure that by now very few people have the energy to read another piece of writing, in fear of receiving more COVID-19 news. Let me assure you that I will not go there. Allow me to share some personal observations, though, especially around the positives that I encountered over the past few months.

Our employees are truly remarkable. No, they are not heroes, because that status is too loaded. They are ordinary individuals who really, truly care. People who put their work first, which is, in this case, their genuine care for older people. We have seen teams stand together, people flourish under adversary, colleagues supporting one another under the most strenuous situations. When our Helderberg Society for the Aged team was required to go into lockdown, there were enough people to not only render a service, they excelled in being there for residents.

Our Support Office lived up to their title – being there to support employees in the units. An immediate plan of action helped employees with food parcels, vitamins, fresh fruit hampers and help where needed. When Susan Diedericks of Rusoord passed away from COVID-19, the support was tangible.

Residents rallied in ways that were really extraordinary. We saw volunteers stepping up, we saw reciprocity, people reaching out, resilience. Yes, many were affected by their families not visiting. However, the true nature of relationship directed support became the guiding principle. Residents and employees stood together in their support of each other.

Whilst there is no shortage of bad (and fake) news at this time, the gifts of this time cannot be emphasised enough.

Rayne Stroebel

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