MHA has formed a CovidCom to drive its battle against Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease which will definitely hit PE, and may cause significant challenges for our frail, elderly residents. We are doing what we can to be prepared for it.

Communication is key. CovidCom agreed that we would use the website as the primary means of communicating to residents and their familiesCovidCom has addressed a letter to all residents, other than those in frail care, which was delivered  on Monday 16 March 2020


 LOCKDOWN@LEVEL 3: 36(L5)+30(L4)+61(L3)=DAY 127 

CovidCom is not trying to confuse Newsflash readers with the weekly table of statistics; we hope that they are relatively easy to understand. What we are doing is sharing with members of the MHA family the worrying and increasing infection rate; we undertook to keep you in the picture, and we continue to do that. As the graphic alongside says, you need to know! 

Our City and our Province are racing towards the peak in Covid-19 infections; the next six weeks or more are going to be brutal. Hard as MHA has tried to protect residents and staff from infection, this rate increase was and is inevitable. Over the past four months we have shared with you details of the procedures and protocols which we have put into place in order to mitigate the advance of the virus into our facilities, especially our two Frail Care units. As a caring organization, and as the MHA family, we remain so grateful that no resident or staff member has thus far been hospitalized for a Covid-related issue, and no one has succumbed to the virus. Please continue to pray that this remains so. 

Our Covid-19 picture, as of 12h00 today, is: 

Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 09.02.09

CovidCom is reviewing the way it conducts business, on a daily basis. Staff then adapt accordingly. More than ever before, our Village residents need to do everything possible to keep themselves healthy and safe, and out of Covid-19’s way. You know what you need to do---and what to avoid doing, at all costs! In the 16 March 2020 letter addressed to everyone in the MHA family we quoted a GP/Infectious Disease Specialist (identity unknown) who posted this on Facebook: 

  • Stop waiting to be surprised 
  • Temper Fear with Reason/Panic with Patience/Uncertainty with Education 
  • Think of others via clean hands and open hearts 

This is a message worth repeating, especially at this time; a time when patience has worn thin, when fear is mounting, when loneliness can easily take over, when we are blaming bungling politicians and autocratic managers for inconvenient and unpopular decisions, and when we are finding it hard to know just who to believe anymore, or how to cope. 

This is a time for courage and faith, but this is also a time to accept that we must continue making sacrifices. The vast number of our residents have accepted the rules and regulations set by government, and also by CovidCom. On a MHA level, many rules and decisions are not popular (not allowing in visitors, private domestics and gardeners, non-essential carers/companions etc). We urge everyone in the MHA family to understand and accept that CovidCom cannot make exceptions when we are dealing with 319 cottages, and almost 700 people. Please let us all walk this road together. 

Celebration time! 
MHA’s first Village, Cassia Gardens, officially opened on 3 August 1985. 


We are not yet there 

Were you ever guilty of this when you were a child? Your family and you set off on a long road trip by car, perhaps to Cape Town or the Drakensberg, or die ou Transvaal; you had hardly made it to the first dorpie when you asked your Dad, the driver: “Are we there yet?”! According to the dictionary, we use the adverb ‘yet’ in negative statements to indicate that something has not happened up to the present time, although it probably will happen. Most Dads probably just shook their heads, perhaps remembering when they had asked their Dad the same question, and just drove on, anticipating the same question to be repeated at the next town, and the next! 

The quoted statement “We are not yet there” was made by Health Minister Mhkize during a visit to our city last week, in response to questions about whether or not the Eastern Cape Health Department should be taken over and placed under administration. He is reported to have responded that questions of a takeover had come up in parliament but “you take over when you get to a point where there’s a whole breakdown of management, there’s reluctance to follow instructions, there’s an internal inability for people to be co-operative------but I don’t believe we’re there yet”. 

On a daily basis, media reports tell us otherwise; the Eastern Cape Health Department is consistently letting sick people down and putting healthcare workers’ lives at risk, through inadequate facilities, shocking hygiene conditions and insufficient PPE. Cases of infection and death in our Province recently went unrecorded for a whole month, making a mockery of provincial and national statistics in the process. To add insult, today (31 July) is the closing date for applying for 74 essential posts at the 4000-bed Field Hospital in Korsten, funded by the German government, via VWSA. Even with fast-tracking applications, going through the process of sifting, verifying qualifications and the accuracy of essential information provided, and then initial orientation and training, it will be weeks before that Field hospital is running efficiently. This should have commenced weeks, if not months, ago. 

The Health Departments are not yet there? The definition of ‘yet’, shown above, indicates that something probably will happen at some future time. What happened to the word and the undertaking called definitely?! Hospitals should definitely be ready by now; healthcare workers should definitely have all the PPEs they need by now. A robust plan of action should definitely be in place by now. 

Can you imagine if MHA had adopted the “not yet there” approach? 

Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 09.04.38

Malcolm Stewart (who reminds us all to Stay--Spray--Pray--Obey---let’s be grateful, and let’s be positive!!) 
CovidCom Chairman (and on behalf of the Board, Management, our staff, and CovidCom) 

PLEASE REMEMBER: As we present new “Breaking news” or “Newsflash” bulletins, the replaced ones are being filed under the News tab, and then under the Archives:Covid-19 drop-down folder on our website. Residents and family with access to internet will then be able to pull up previous bulletins, if and when needed. 

DISCLAIMER: MHA and CovidCom are endeavouring to regularly communicate useful or necessary information to our residents, staff, and the wider MHA family, so that we can all be best prepared to confront the COVID-19 monster at our door. To the best of our ability we ensure that the material shared is reliable and accurate, but MHA cannot be held responsible for any unintended errors or inaccuracies. Please immediately bring such errors or inaccuracies to our attention, via the link.