Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. Traditionally at our home, it involves extended family and includes a lot of time cooking together, eating together and catching up on each other’s lives now that fall and its routines have settled in. This year it will be a bit different: smaller and with zoom calls. No trips along the 401, no large family gatherings, and I’ll have to make my own pies. Even so, the most important thing about this weekend is that it gives us a time to reflect, give thanks and express gratitude.
I happened upon the following quote that I think expresses how I am feeling as we approach this unusual Thanksgiving 2020:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
I don’t know what Wave 2 will bring for us in Chatham-Kent or at CKHA. I do know that we are well prepared because of our collective actions in Wave 1. We found a way to create clarity and order where there was great confusion, fear and chaos world-wide. We know that we have some things that we can improve and, we are not starting from scratch. We’ve responded to the community need since March; whether it was setting up the Assessment Centre, caring for COVID-19 positive patients, introducing the Care Partner concept or committing to surgical service renewal, we have done it. Knowing this “brings me peace for today” and tells me that we can create what we need to approach tomorrow.
It is safe to say that the next few weeks for us as an organization are critical. We go live with our Cerner Hospital Information System (HIS) on November 1 and everything that I have heard and seen tells me that we will be ready. The fact that we were able to be part of both Grand River’s and Erie Shores’ go live experiences gives us greater confidence that we’ve “got this.” We have plans to reduce the level of elective activity so that we give ourselves some time to get used to the new work flows. As with any new skill, it will take some practice and we will get there.
Through this, we will continue to respond to our community’s needs with respect to the pandemic. The best thing we can all do this weekend is to help our friends and families to understand how important it is to keep our Thanksgiving or other gatherings to our immediate family. I’m including the link to the Blog I wrote just before Easter weekend. It was at the beginning of the pandemic but I think the message in it still stands. Feel free to share this with your circles to help people understand how they can help us.
“A Window into Our World” Blog:
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the staff, physicians and volunteers at CKHA for their dedicated actions every day and more importantly, for the way that they all approach that work. The collaborative spirit, the respect for one another, and the commitment to patient, staff and physician safety shines through. I am privileged to work alongside every single person at our hospital. I am grateful for this and hope that everyone – staff, physicians, volunteers and our community at large – will also take the time this weekend to reflect on what each of you are grateful for. Please enjoy Thanksgiving and stay safe.