As we have continued to experience the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we began asking ourselves...if we could share "5 Things" that have taken place in the Vista community over the past few months – what would those be? Stay tuned as we share some impactful and insightful things that have occurred throughout this journey so far - we hope that you enjoy the series!
During this time of social distancing, it is integral to remain connected to our communities and feel connected to those around us. Although we may be self-isolating, the local communities along the Connecticut shoreline, across the country, and across the world are all experiencing this virus together....said another way, we are all in this together...making it more important than ever to show our support for each other.
At Vista, we have been and continue to be impressed by the dedication of our students and members in utilizing best practices like social distancing, limiting travel outside the home and wearing masks when doing so. In addition, like many others, our students and members have been creating encouraging messages of hope and gratitude to healthcare workers, essential workers, and the community as a whole as we face this virus together.
Individuals from the Vista community supporting or creating heart messages
In the Vista community, many present believe that it is important to show support to healthcare workers and other essential workers. Daniel, a student in our dormitory, says that the hearts, "represent us thinking about nurses and healthcare workers. They are working so hard right now...It makes me feel loved that nurses and healthcare workers are still doing their jobs to keep people safe and healthy. I feel better knowing that if I get sick, there will be someone to take care of me."
While the hearts are a symbol of support for healthcare workers for Daniel and many of us, the students also see them as a message to the community that Vista is here to support them as well. One student explains, "The hearts are there to show support for the community...to let them know that we're here and that Vista is a part of the larger community...I can make a difference in the community... I'm keeping flexible and staying positive for the most part and trying to help others. I'm trying to help others with their self-esteem too." Those in Vista's programs are washing their hands frequently, staying home and wearing masks to prevent themselves or anyone else from catching COVID-19.
Rachel, a Vista member, decided to send positive messages to her community in a slightly different way. Rachel has begun leaving rocks along the beach with words of encouragement painted on them: "Every morning, I get up early and take a walk. My Life Skills Instructor, Aimee, told me that she paints rocks with symbols and positive messages on them and leaves them on her beach walks for people to find. She asked me if I wanted to do a positivity rock project with her on Zoom. I liked the idea of making people happy, so I said, 'Let's do it!' It makes me feel good to leave the rocks on my walks to brighten someone's day. I hope the rocks make people smile and let them know that we are all in this together!"
Positivity rocks made by Rachel, a Vista member, and her Life Skills Instructor, Aimee Vincente
Aimee Vincente, Rachel's Life Skills Instructor, is excited about the positivity rocks they are creating. "I really enjoyed creating positivity rocks with Rachel via Zoom," she says. "Painting on rocks is a simple concept but the inspirational messages bring so much joy, comfort and hope to those who find them. It's a small way to feel connected and spread some love during these uncertain times."
5 Things to Know: Part IV