April 23, 2020
As we close out the week, there were a couple of recent developments that I would like to share with you.
First, Governor Whitmer stated yesterday in a press conference that the stay-at-home order will likely be extended briefly after April 30 as the economy begins to slowly reopen. She emphasized that we will not instantly go back to “normal”, it will be a gradual process done in waves. The exact details of those waves have not been shared yet but hopefully they will be soon. I know it is disheartening to hear of another possible extension to the stay-at-home order, but I encourage all of you to keep doing what you’ve been doing, it is working and saving lives.
Second, this week the state expanded coronavirus testing eligibility to include essential employees like us, with or without symptoms. Unfortunately testing supplies are still limited so our county health folks are working with healthcare providers to prioritize testing where it is most critically needed – nursing homes, homeless shelters, group settings and areas of the county with high concentrations of known cases. At this point, as an essential employee, you are eligible for testing if you are interested, but it may still be difficult to get a test locally if you are not exhibiting symptoms. You can visit michigan.gov/coronavirustest to find a testing site near you.
Finally, the management team continues to discuss reopening plans for our organization. Much of this will be dependent upon the guidance we receive from the state and county, but what you will likely see is a shift from looking at what activities are “essential” to what activities can we accomplish “safely”. Social distancing and proper PPE will be an important part of how we begin to resume duties.
I’d like to end the week with another story from a co-worker. This one comes from Jeff Young, signal operations engineer.
“Well there has been a lot of uncertainty in our house from both my perspective and my wife Bree’s as well. She has been struggling with how this whole ordeal will affect her students. She teaches 4th grade in Pinckney and is really missing the fact that she is basically on hold with teaching them and helping them through the school year preparing them to be great members of society. She has been conducting weekly meetings with her class through Zoom and daily discussions with her teaching team to try and figure out what’s next.
From my perspective, my work at WCRC has been a little easier to adjust to remotely. We have been using our tools daily and things have been working well. Our staff is adjusting too and keeping our infrastructure functioning without a hitch. This time has really brought to light many new ways to conduct business and has forced us to be creative. I am looking at all of the positive things that are coming out of this time and how we can incorporate what we’ve learned to the future.
We took the opportunity last week to venture out to Highland Recreation Area where I train our Weimaraner, Bentley, for upland birds and hunt tests. He is really keeping us busy and has turned into quite the ‘co-worker’!”
Thanks to Jeff for sharing, we have certainly learned many lessons from this time and our furry family members have been a big help!
Thank you again for all that you do. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Take care and stay safe,