Author: ADuRoss@midyork.org

2024 Summer Reading Program

2024 Summer Reading Program

  Printable Calendar of Events Here      

Youth Library Card

Youth Library Card

Due to COVID-19, we missed one of the highlights of our year, our annual visits to the elementary schools to register students for a library card.  Should your child need a card, please print this form, complete it, and mail it to us or drop 

Community Reflection #6

Community Reflection #6

My COVID Experience

Deeandra Payne

 

February 4, 2020. We were on our way to Yellowstone National Park, a long planned and eagerly anticipated vacation.  Everyone thought we were a little crazy to go to such a cold place. Most people head to the tropics during the winter to escape the cold and snow.  I, however, was looking forward to seeing the bison with their manes full of snow and ice!

We flew out of Syracuse and had a layover in Chicago.  That was the first sign that things were out of the norm.  We saw several Asian travelers wearing facemasks.  When we watch the news, it’s not unusual to see people in other countries wearing masks. That is their norm, but here? I remember thinking I wanted to distance myself from them.

So much has happened since then. 

I am a RN at one of the local hospitals. I was an emergency room nurse for 13 years, but left that department 2 years ago, to work as a cath/ep nurse educator. Which means I educate patients who are about to have a cardiac catheterization, or cardiac electrophysiology procedure (pacemaker etc).  The office is busy, but certainly much less stressful than the ER. 

Sometime in March, things started to happen. People here were wearing masks. We were told to keep our distance. Places were closing.  At the hospital, we were preparing for the worst.   Instructions were given on proper PPE donning and doffing, and rooms were being readied for the “surge”.  Unlike the ebola outbreak, which we were trained for in the ED, this was close to home.   It was unnerving and scary. 

First, just the cafeteria was closed to visitors, then, the entire hospital.  It was very difficult to tell your patients that they had to go through their procedure alone.  They understood, but they were frightened, not just of being alone, but of being in a place where they knew the virus was.  Doctors are required to review each case for necessity, and postpone those that are not essential.  Few cases are non-essential when it comes to your heart.  But many patients postponed their own procedures, out of fear.

 The halls at the hospital are eerily quiet. Some entire units are vacant, in anticipation for the surge, or by the canceling of non-essential procedures, like orthopedics and the OR.  All of these areas affect many workers.

There is a respiratory triage tent set up outside our ED now.

There are several COVID patients in our ICU.  There are more pending results. Every day our CEO records a message on how things are going AND changing every day. It is surreal.  We walk around in a half daze, donning our masks, gelling and washing our hands every 5 seconds.  Getting paranoid.  Nurses are working in different areas then they are used to or trained for.  It is very difficult to work in an area you are unfamiliar with.   We recently changed computer systems, so most of us do not know how to chart on different units.  I tell my co-workers that if the surge comes, we won’t have much time to chart anyway.  I laugh, saying that it will be like working in the ER again! We are all nervous. 

 

I change into and out of my scrubs at work now. And change again when I get home. I have a designated spot for my shoes that I wear only back and forth to the hospital.  I have a separate pair that I wear in the hospital.  I wash up. I am sure those with constant patient contact are showering right when they get home.  I consider everything I touch to be contaminated.  I strategically plan my escape route, knowing where every hand sanitizer is located and where will be my last stop and gel before discarding my facemask.  I hold my hands out away from by body, in an unconscious way of trying to keep clean.

Thankfully, we did not get the surge at our hospital.  But we are still in the thick of things, unsure of what will happen when things start opening up again. Will the surge come then?

At home, my husband and I are doing our best. Gratefully he retired from teaching at the middle school last year.  I can’t imagine him trying to teach online!

We do our shopping by either pick up or delivery and wipe things down when we bring them into the house. We haven’t seen the inside of a store in over 6 weeks.  Luckily we live in a great, close-knit neighborhood.  We look out for each other.  The kids next door made me cards and a tee shirt that has a stethoscope in the shape of a heart with the word “hero” written on it. Others hand us baked goods through fences and shout good will from across the street. Many have thanked me for doing what I do.  I am grateful and embarrassed. I don’t feel like a hero, at all. We stopped watching most of the news. It is too intense.  Everyone is watching series and movies on TV. Exchanging titles when they find a good one.  We do a lot of jigsaw puzzles, play scrabble, backgammon, and parcheesi. We walk the dog together, something we didn’t do before.  That’s nice.  But even walking outside on the street is different.  When you see someone coming, you move to the other side of the street or move out into the road.  I look around and feel like there is a blanket over us.  Of what, I don’t know. 

Yesterday I received a certified letter in the mail telling me of my lay-off.  I have the option to bump someone of lower seniority out of their job if I want. But I don’t.

Even the mail and signing for things is different.  The postman said he would sign for me, if that was ok, he just needed to ask.  I told him I knew it was my lay-off notice. He felt bad.  The irony is that I am a nurse in a pandemic and am getting laid off. I feel bad for the non-essential workers.  They have been out of work for a long time already.  I can’t imagine how they are struggling.  And I think of all the people on the frontlines in the big cities.  How do you cope? I feel terrible that I am here, safe, and they are suffering. Part of me thinks I should be there helping them. But another part of me thinks that is crazy, then I feel even more terrible.  That’s why it is embarrassing to be called a hero.  Because I am not.   I have the privilege of sitting in my comfortable living room, doing my jigsaw puzzle, watching TV, and not have to worry about getting up and going to work in the morning.

Like everyone else, I too, am anxiously waiting to hear the end to this story.  

 

 

 

 

Children’s 2020 Coronavirus History Project

Children’s 2020 Coronavirus History Project

Children are unique storytellers and expressing their feelings during this time of uncertainty can be beneficial to them.  Writing down or drawing their thoughts and experiences will provide both them and their families a history to look back on and reflect on.  We hope the 

Community Reflection #5

Community Reflection #5

Contributor: Pamela Hayden   Who knew that real life could turn out like a science fiction novel? In all my years as an educator, I could never see life turning upside down the way it has over the last month or so.   Since I want 

Community Reflection #4

Community Reflection #4

Coronavirus story

New Hartford Library

Barbara Shuck

The calendar was full….it is now empty. A meeting for a book club at the New Hartford Library was among the notations. Another book club is meeting through zoom in front of our individual computers. I have learned to borrow books from the library using my I Pad…read them there and return them…I am also noticing there are people waiting for the book even though each book has a two week limit.

My technology skills have been stretched. Adding Zoom to my meeting groups, borrowing books on my I pad were a big step, but I have a college student grandson living with me who helped me. He is taking classes on line and learning how to deal with that. Two grandsons in their senior years in high school are missing the sports and the friends they have made . They can speak through computers and phones but in person contact is the best. My family is good about keeping in contact.

It has been interesting attending different churches online and this Easter weekend I attended a service in Jerusalem. The museums and acting groups are giving me some entertainment . I recently saw a wonderful performance of Amadeus done by Syracuse Stage . I was sitting here at the computer all the time.

There are concerns. One of the boys who used to play in the rock band in my basement just died in Savannah, GA. My eyes are full of tears. One of my sister’s loved ones just died in Nebraska. None of us knows how vulnerable we are and without testing we won’t know. I made a mask with my bandanna to wear in the stores and today my friend left me one that looks like a welding mask . It looks more comfortable than the one I was wearing.

My church has kept the food pantry open on a limited basis. I worry about people who don’t have enough food, are wondering about whether they will have housing, can pay their bills. I feel blessed there is still food in the freezer to cook and my grandson is able to shop for me once a week…He is being careful too as he has asthma. We have bought take out food from a few local restaurants that we hope stay in business.

At first I organized closets and that was a good thing. There are books to read and give away. The thrift shops will be busy with all the things that were stored on our shelves and in our closets when this is over.

There is a pile of stories and memories which I have written. This is probably the time to get it all put together together . Perhaps the lessons I have learned in this lifetime will be helpful for someone else.

Community Reflection #3

Community Reflection #3

Contributor: Marcia Cadwell   I am using my time mostly, to make face masks for health care workers, who really need them.  It thrills my heart to be helping others, who have a huge need.  I work several hours a day, and feel good that 

Community Reflection #2

Community Reflection #2

Contributor: Kathy DonovanOriginal works can be found on Kathy’s blog,  Life Breaths. A new slice It’s March 31, 2020, and today, in another dimension there is a Kathy Donovan looking forward to her future plans. She readies her mind and heart to experience Cheryl Strayed 

Community Reflections #1

Community Reflections #1

Contributor: John Dye

 

April 4, 2020: Early Saturday morning are special to me. It’s the time I join a group of friends for our weekly runs. We laugh at each other’s bad jokes, talk about our lives and our families and are governed by one rule: What’s said on the road stays on the road. The post-run gatherings over coffee may be the best part, including the weekly bickering over whose turn it is to buy.  Everyone (including me) is healthy and happy, but I’d never forgive myself if I would come down with Covid-19 and unknowingly pass it to any of my friends and their families before realizing I was ill. For now, my runs are solo affairs, but it’s not the same.

Tonight was special as Deb and I sat in on a virtual piano concert by one of our neighbors via Facebook Live. He was great and it was a fun diversion. We, and others judging by the live comments, were pleased he shared his talent.

April 2, 2020: My wife and I returned to the Mohawk Valley from Wisconsin nearly three years ago for one overriding reason – family. We wanted to be closer to my son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, and it’s ironic that the social distancing we know is absolutely necessary now seems eerily similar to the nearly 900-mile separations we endured with Deb and I in the Green Bay area and the “kids” in New Hartford.

For just the third time in the past three weeks we gathered – at safe distance – this time in our driveway as the girls rode their bikes in the neighborhood and the four adults talked in the driveway about working from home and establishing a daily homework schedule for the girls while at the same time keeping everyone healthy and actively physically.

No good-bye hugs. No family dinners. No hanging out with Meme and Papa. FaceTime and Messaging have been great, but it tugs at the heart to see them just a few feet away for an all-too-brief gathering and not be able to hold them.

April 1, 2020: Who would have imagined that the simple act of grocery shopping would require such advance planning and caution. We followed all the advice about using disinfecting wipes on the cart and shopping for our needs for two weeks to avoid unnecessary trips. Store staff were working frantically, and with good cheer, to stock the shelves, although there were no packages of toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, paper towels or Lysol spray on the shelves. There were shared smiles with fellow customers as they stood six feet apart from each other. The whole experience was a bit surreal, but at the same time encouraging as the human spirit seemed undaunted in this most simple of shared tasks.

It took as long to unpack and follow all the advice about “cleaning” our groceries as it did to go to the store.  Our garage and kitchen countertops became their own grocery M.A.S.H. units and we scrubbed, sprayed and removed outer wrappings and boxes.

March 31, 2020: What I’m reading: Just finished Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book,” and recommend it highly. Great research and writing style. Working on Doris Kerns Goodwin’s “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” which offers great insights for today’s leaders. On deck for a nice change of pace: Rereading Dashiell Hammett’s “The Thin Man.”

April 11, 2020: Governor Cuomo has directed that flags on state buildings be flown at half-staff in remembrance of those lost to Covid-19, but I have seen some flags flying at full staff in our limited trips around the area. Local governments and businesses may not be required to follow the governor’s directive, but I still wonder why some flags are not lowered.

April 13, 2020: Just how late into the year should you continue to fill your backyard bird feeders? Some argue to take the feeders down by mid-spring in order not to make birds overdependent. Others dispute the argument. I know this: A great variety of birds make their way to our feeders throughout the winter into the spring. They provide great entertainment and we keep guidebooks close by to identify them. For now — for us — the feeding will continue in this shelter-in-place world in which we now live.

April 14, 2020: I wonder how many people tune in to watch the daily televised coronavirus briefings from Governor Cuomo, President Trump and County Executive Picente? Combined, they can stretch into hours. They can inspire, infuriate or sadden, all at the same time. Are parents allowing their children to watch? Does TV somehow distort the reality that more than 27,000 American have died because of Covid-19?

April 15, 2020: With each day the realization grows that the life of our community and the lives of its residents have been unalterably changed. There will be no return to a “pre-coronavirus” normal, but a new normal the direction of which has yet to be determined. I saw this yesterday during our bi-weekly trip to the supermarket. There is more than enough food on the shelves, but variety and selection are limited. More important was the interaction between shoppers and staff. Good will and courtesy continue to abound, and the staff remained hard at work, but the look in many eyes conveyed caution and uncertainty. I am confident we will rise to the challenge of rebuilding, knowing that it will require extraordinary effort and cooperation.