With Palm Sunday spent in confinement and “social distancing” defining our Holy Week and Easter activities, we’d like to update all of our loyal subscribers on Pro Vita and Covid-19.
We had a longish telephone conversation with Mihail Tanase this morning (4/6). Although Covid-19 has imposed a number of new regulations and restrictions on the Pro Vita community, the disease itself has yet to attack the population. Houses have been re-configured to meet distancing requirements, construction of new facilities has been accelerated to give the residents more space, and the beleaguered house mothers are now home-schooling more than 250 children. They received a few new computers, but that resource still must be shared.
The medical facility in Valea Screzii has been re-configured and they do have some oxygen but no ventilators. All the available ventilators are apparently in Bucharest hospitals. The hospital in Valenii de Munte serves a population of 20,000 people with a staff of 30 doctors. Fortunately, the doctor who had tested positive earlier was re-tested and is negative for Covid-19. Diagnostic tests are also in very limited supply. Mihail has asked for the new 15 minute test from Abbot Labs but. . . that’s what we all wish for.
As noted in our March Newsletter, the central kitchen in Valea Screzii had been closed for 3 weeks but now has been re-opened, although the dining room remains closed and hot meals are being distributed to each of the houses – shades of 2012 when the kitchen, etc. burned down and all cooking was done in three large cauldrons over open fires. Unfortunately, the beautiful new stove which was scheduled to arrive in January is still stuck in Italy so the reduced kitchen staff (only 3 allowed to work at one time) continues to make do with the old stoves, propping the broken doors closed.
Food availability varies and has gotten more expensive (sound familiar?). No flour last week but available this week. We encouraged Mihail to use whatever AFPVO money he needs to maintain a supply of food and medicine. At this moment, he believes he has food on hand for 2-3 weeks and donations of foodstuffs from Romanian people and businesses continues — bless them!
Vegetables have been planted in the cold frames and there are still hens, pigs, cows and sheep grazing at Valea Screzii.
The construction of the factory enterprises in Valenii de Munte is awaiting City inspection of the demolition site and authorization to begin work.
We want to thank our newest donors — Wendell B. and Jim and Joan K. — for thinking of Pro Vita at what is a challenging time for all of us. Your collective generosity has given AFPVO a financial cushion which was dedicated for the enterprise construction but should also cover whatever Covid-19 expenses Pro Vita will incur in the near future. As always we ask you to consider making a donation to AFPVO as a gesture of faith that this too will pass and the Pro Vita community, especially the elderly population, will be spared.
Mihail and Melanie have sent a number of pictures of the new and re-configured facilities which we will add to the Gallery in the next day or two.
Wishing all of you a blessed Easter season, a healthy Spring, and a return to normalcy.
Fr. Sean, Donna, and Frank