My life during the pandemic: Because spoken words fly away…
I’d like to take you back to the early months of the pandemic, in mid-April 2020. It was then that I met Jacques Beaulieu, a cultured, passionate and truly inspiring man who had the idea of immortalizing on paper what we were just beginning to experience, namely the uncertainties connected with a worldwide pandemic. However, to my great surprise, what interested him above all was finding out how all of this was being experienced in the residence.
Although we didn’t know exactly what we were getting into at the time, I had the deep feeling that something important was going on – that a chapter of history was about to be written. This is what motivated me to agree to support Mr. Beaulieu in his project. Within a few weeks, a wonderful collaboration developed between the author and some residents, employees, administrators and myself. I’d like to offer my sincere thanks here to all those who opened their hearts, allowing this book to be written.
But you’ll ask, why put down on paper accounts related to such a dire subject? That’s a good question. At the time, we knew nothing of what was going to happen. Despite that, a lot of concerns were already being raised regarding the consequences of the health crisis that was shaking the whole world. Unfortunately, we soon realized that those most affected were the elderly, and THAT struck me deeply. This book, therefore, is a forum that gives voice to those who were most vulnerable in the face of the pandemic: the residents, but also the employees, who each day attempted the impossible to minimize the devastating effects of such a situation on our clientele.
Because at Le Groupe Maurice, during the first wave – the one the book deals with – there were approximately 150 cases of COVID-19 declared, and unfortunately some deaths. In spite of the fact that, compared to elsewhere, the numbers were not overwhelming, never had we experienced so much loss in so little time. It upset me deeply.
As you know, I have worked in this industry for more than 20 years. Besides your happiness and fulfillment, our vocation is to see to your safety. For the first time, what we were experiencing shook the very foundations of the company’s existence. The reason was very simple: the means of ensuring your happiness, fulfillment and safety could no longer be the same. The imposition of restrictive health measures changed everything; we had to adapt and reinvent ourselves. All of us.
Mr. Beaulieu’s book, therefore, is a tribute to the individuals who went through this pandemic with courage. Of course, we hope that this health crisis has finally allowed light to be shed on the shortcomings, too long overlooked, surrounding the reality of seniors. Then again, perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect such sudden changes. What I know, however, is that the pandemic instilled in me an increased confidence in human beings. Our faith in life is what bound us together, what allowed us to overcome every obstacle and to accept that over which we had no control. We got to know ourselves personally and collectively – and the content of this book is the proof.
My life during the pandemic has just been published. I highly recommend that you read it, because these accounts remind us humbly, gently and openly that in the face of challenges we may be fragile individually, but conversely, so strong collectively. I don’t know whether they will have the same effect on you as they had on me, but, although they took me back to that bleak time, the testimonies in this book filled me with even more hope for the future. You know, I draw on your strength every day, particularly since these events; these writings have reminded me to what extent you have been an example of resilience, and that if you have been able to overcome this crisis with so much flair, then we are capable of really great things.