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Montgomery Place shares best practices of “Bluejackets” during this time of COVID-19

Dear Friends and Family,

Color has finally returned to our gardens. Landscapers planted flowers today and prepared many of the beds for summer. Within the next week or so, plants and soil arrive so residents can start their container gardens. It heals the soul to nurture what grows in earth.

My son, Matthew, re-enlisted in the Navy last Friday. Several years ago, he started a tradition of collecting old “Bluejackets,” the Navy’s manual for recruits, and gives them as gifts to friends when they re-enlist. Following his tradition, I sent to Matthew my father’s “Bluejacket” from 1940. Tonight, Matthew shared with me a section from the 1940s “Bluejacket,” no longer in the current edition.

You remain three weeks in the receiving unit without liberty being granted. This is the hardest period of your naval career. This three weeks’ detention is necessary to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases. In the training station, you live close together. One man with an infectious disease could spread it to every man at the station. The doctors will examine you frequently. They much prefer keeping you well than curing you after you are sick. They know how to keep you from getting sick, and this three weeks of restriction is one of their methods of keeping sickness down to a minimum. Realize this and don’t worry about it.

Back in 1940, smallpox, typhoid, the flu and measles were feared. I wonder if future editions of the “Bluejacket” will incorporate similar detention periods now that COVID-19 has surfaced. The U.S. Navy certainly has been hit hard by the virus, especially those serving on the USS Theodore Roosevelt and other ships in the fleet.

Two statements strike me: “This is the hardest period of your naval career” and “Realize this and don’t worry about it.” In today’s pandemic, we have endured weeks of restriction, and it certainly has been hard on all of us. Our acceptance of this isolation and detention keeps us safe and free of infectious disease, reducing our worry. So far, we are successful. Let’s remain vigilant.

Today, our staff was blessed by the thoughtful generosity of residents. They gathered today to give a box of Girl Scout cookies to each staff member. Smiles were everywhere as these sweet gifts were received. It was so wonderful to have a few minutes of time for residents and staff members to interact in the lobby. And it was almost like “old times” seeing so many people milling about, even if only for a few minutes each. On behalf of everyone on our team at Montgomery Place, I send a huge “thank you” to our residents.

Especially as we anticipate some changes in our daily routine, please call me to answer questions or be of assistance. Just call my mobile phone, 773-617-1317.

Understanding why actions are taken, makes acceptance easier.   

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