Welcome to the new world of COVID-19. Frank and I were supposed to be flying to Romania today to visit Pro Vita and assess progress with a newsletter appearing after that. Instead we’re “sheltering in place” and hoping all of you are staying healthy, both physically and mentally. The five seniors from St. Stephen and St. Agnes School (SSSAS) in Alexandria, VA also had to cancel their senior project trip to Pro Vita due to COVID-19 restrictions. We are all grateful to be in our own homes rather than quarantined in Romania.
We are in the midst of the Lenten season although the pandemic has most of us focused on monitoring the virus. We would first like to thank our generous donors who have contributed more than $5,000 since our November Newsletter — Leigh and Dennis, St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Fotini, Friends of the Poor, Wilma, Alan & Susan, Robert & Mary Ann, Florin & Roxanna, Steve & Amy, Susan, and Jennifer. We are deeply grateful to everyone who remembers Pro Vita (via AFPVO) in their charitable giving.
A recent conversation with Mihail Tanase confirms that Romania is in a state of emergency, focused on containing the spread of the virus. Pro Vita does not yet have any cases of the virus, but they have made major changes to daily life at all the sites. Schools are closed so all the 250+ children are in residence all the time!! The central kitchen at Valea Screzii has been closed and satellite kitchens set up in all the houses. The completed heating/office building at the Social Center in Valenii de Munte has been converted to a quarantine facility as has the new Admin Building in Valenii de Munte in anticipation of the need for quarantine facilities. So far none of the elderly beneficiaries in Valea Plopului have contracted the virus but continue to need a lot of individual care. Although a number of children were hospitalized with various non-viral issues, they’re all OK, BUT the hospital’s pediatrician has COVID-19. Test kits are in serious short supply. Pro Vita has both cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer in sufficient quantities at the moment.
The AFPVO Board made an executive decision to allow Mihail to use some of the cash on hand in Romania to help Pro Vita cover any additional expenses relating to COVID-19. He does not need to use the funds, usually only available to fund construction and O&M projects, at this time. We hope this decision meets with our donors’ approval.
Please continue to keep Pro Vita in your prayers and charitable giving. We will keep you all updated on the conditions at Pro Vita. We expect some new pictures and will update the Gallery once they’re received.
Fr. Sean, Donna, and Frank