How to serve your neighbors. From home!
I was blessed to be able to chat with a group of local pastors and a Palliative Care Physician at Sacred Heart on Monday. She gave us some idea of what the medical field is facing in the days ahead with COVID-19. And thankfully gave us some ways we in congregations can help them. Even from the comfort of our own homes!
Sewing Protective Masks
One way we can help our medical heroes is to break out the ol' sewing machine, that box of cotton cloth, and some 1/4 inch elastic to make some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many hospitals, clinics, and care homes are already reusing their N95 masks but can place a fabric mask over the top to protect themselves and others.
Here's a video from JoAnn Fabrics with instructions, links to materials, and a printable pattern. Other advice and instructions are available.
PLEASE call ahead and make sure that these masks are needed and accepted wherever you donate them.
Giving Clear Instructions
If you're over 18 and haven't been living under a rock, you know the importance of Advanced Directives or Living Wills. A document like this allows medical staff and your loved ones to know exactly what you want in case of an emergency or life threatening situation.
But if you're like me you've put it off, and put it off. "I have to . . . um . . wash my hair!"
No. More. Excuses.
Let's each work to complete these documents in an act of love for those who will care for us, our family and medical workers. Do you want all interventions possible to keep you alive at any cost? Even if you need to be away from you family? Do you want to be at home with your loved ones at the cost of some medical technology?
Here are some starting points to develop Advanded Directives which can go in your medical file.
Kaiser Permanente: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/life-care-plan
MultiCare/ Rockwood: https://www.multicare.org/home-health-hospice-palliative-planning/
Let's show the love of God through us by caring for our neighbors - the medical staff who are on the front lines of this fight against COVID-19.
Merciful God, your healing power is everywhere about us. Strengthen those who work among the sick; give them courage and confidence in all they do. Encourage them when their efforts seem futile or when death prevails. Increase their trust in your power even to overcome death and pain; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.