Mission Staffers Recover from COVID-19
Every day Mission staff members work to communicate what this novel coronavirus means to our neighbors in the homeless community. Staff members like Kim, Dan, and KC constantly follow the latest news about COVID-19, its symptoms, and how to prevent its transmission throughout our facilities. Without clear symptoms, many people can carry this virus and not know it.
All staff understand that everyone needs to follow guidelines to protect one another. Washing hands for 20 seconds kills the virus. Wearing face masks reduces virus transmission from sneezing, coughing, and regular speaking. Keeping space between people lowers the risk of catching it from a neighbor. But even after following safety measures closely, there is still some risk to consider.
When Dan and his son caught the H1N1 virus in 2009, they were laid out with symptoms for a week, so he knows that novel viruses must be taken seriously. After mild symptoms led him to get tested for COVID-19, he came back to work with a negative result and a heart grateful to serve.
Kim remembered her moment of greatest exposure. She was helping a guest pick up spilled items from the floor and saw the deeply red eyes. A few days later, Kim lost her sense of smell completely and her doctor saw her similarly swollen red eye. She tested positive for COVID-19 and went into quarantine at home. The guest also tested positive and received treatment in a separate facility.
KC worked closely with Kim in the evenings and often took overnight shifts with guests. He was most concerned with getting good information to guests about the virus and its risks, and how everyone must protect themselves. He noticed a broad range of symptoms, including strong body aches and fatigue, and tested positive for the virus a few days after Kim did.
Now both have recovered and returned to serve homeless and hungry guests at the Mission. We’re so grateful to our staff members like Dan, Kim and KC who continue to serve in the midst of this public health crisis with courage and a positive attitude.