Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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The need for collective action in times of crisis

by Jason R. Cronk
| September 6, 2020 12:00 AM

The United States and more specifically the state of Montana is facing a unique challenge as we enter our sixth month of combating the coronavirus. Many people have been infected, and we continue to see the numbers climb with each passing day.

For those of us who work in senior living, we continue to press on and increase our extensive infection control measures, because giving up on our fight against COVID-19 is simply not an option.

Here at Immanuel Lutheran Communities, we have been immensely blessed to have some of the best staff working around the clock to sanitize our campus, screen and test both residents and staff, and ensure we have sufficient PPE to continue caring for those who cannot care for themselves. For communities like ours, there is no choosing to not mask up because it's uncomfortable or inconvenient, we simply charge on, doing everything in our power to protect those who call Immanuel Lutheran Communities home.

In contrast to recent crises caused by opposition, disasters, and political division, there is one commonality in which we must leverage to move past this virus, and that is empathy. Acknowledging this responsibility and taking steps to protect ourselves and others is the difference that will help us move forward.

The bottom line is that as community spread increases in the Flathead Valley and across Montana, so does the risk of it running rampant in our senior living community and in other senior living communities around the state, and having the potential to drastically affect our resident population. The reality of this is that there is no end to this pandemic until we have rapid testing and a vaccine.

We continue to take on each day with a heart to protect and serve others, and will continue to do so until the risk to our community is no more.

The public need for accurate Coronavirus information will not end in the next week or month. I urge you to validate your sources of information and take the lead to properly educate yourself and those around you on how the virus is impacting our world today. More than ever, the delicate balance between collective and individual responsibility should be at the forefront.

Thank you for your continued support as we combat this virus!

—Jason R. Cronk is President and CEO at Immanuel Lutheran Communities in Kalispell