The article below was prepared just days before COVID-19 deeply changed the way we all are doing our work and living our lives. But one of the many things revealed by the pandemic is that our human service system’s workforce is in even deeper crisis than we thought and—despite many stories of strength and commitment—quite fragile, too. But another lesson underscored by the pandemic is that relationships and friendships may be the best vaccine against the isolation and loneliness. So always—and especially now—our workforce needs to devote attention, time and creativity to helping the people they support connect deeply with others in their communities.
On July 2, Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel released the formal order that day programs may open on July 6. Re-opening services is not simply a matter of unlocking the doors, turning on the lights, and buying some personal protective equipment (PPE).