Can it Get Any Worse? - Penn-Mar

Can it Get Any Worse?

Posted on January 19, 2022

By Gregory T. Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Human Services | Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Foundation
Greg Miller

Gregory Miller
President/CEO Penn-Mar Human Services

I will be the first to admit this isn’t the most inspirational headline for a New Year’s Blog. However, I encourage you to stick with me while I get to the “but…” part. 

We exited the holidays with COVID infections reaching an average of more than 760,000 new cases per day in the U.S.  

All of us now know friends and family members who have tested positive for the virus and there is a good chance that you yourself have had, or are recovering from COVID or from the variant. 

This is our reality. 

BUT… given the high rate of people who are now vaccinated, the infected are experiencing milder symptoms, and the new Omicron variant is not as deadly. 

Workforces have been decimated as more infected people quarantine at home. This is a huge issue in our business where we rely on our DSPs to work in-person with the people with disabilities we support. 

BUT… I am encouraged by the dedication of both our DSPs, administrative staff and program people who have been amazingly strong and supportive through all the ups-and-downs of this nearly two-year crisis. 

Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they actually have. 

BUT… I have personally seen time-and-time again when our team members have reached the point where they feel they can’t do anything more, only to see them find a place deep down where they unleash the strength required to do whatever is next.  

I have no doubt there have been days when many of you have probably said, “What’s the use of it all? Why am I here?” 

BUT… know that just getting from day-to-day is a victory unto itself. Our team members and the people we support will never be asked to go through this journey by themselves, no matter how bad things get. 

Here’s my advice for how to get through COVID to the other side: 

  1. Don’t take shortcuts. This is hard work. It will require continuing to give your best work and being the best of who you are.

  2. Connect to something outside of yourself. Find a way to be useful to others, to be a listening ear, a solution to a problem.

  3. Don’t let COVID rob you of your spirit. We are stronger than that. Stay connected, look for inspiration and hope all around you, ask for support when you need it. Don’t let yourself ever feel alone.

  4. Accept that life as we know it has changed. We’re all feeling it. Everything seems different, interrupted, weird. Look for the good change and create more yourself.

  5. Find ways to make your post-COVID world better than life before the pandemic. There never was a better time to reassess what truly matters, what makes you happy, and to disconnect from the negative voices that are everywhere. Reject fear and negativity on your journey forward. 
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