How long will this take? Will we be done soon? Better or worse than…

One of the reporters asked me (off the record) today if we are close to abolishing Coronavirus? I immediately responded back and said said, “No, not even close.”

For those wondering why I was quick to respond, was that we are still in the response phase. We are assessing the threats and making sure we have enough resources to handle things.

And no, we don’t have enough stuff.

To illustrate this point, let me reference a chart that we use in ICS-300.

As you can see, we are waiting for the response to match the need of resources. But right now, we are at a lack of resources, equipment, and supplies to stop the spread or mitigate any future spread. Basically, we ain’t there yet!

It is inappropriate to place an end date with all of this as we are still “responding” to the emerging threat.

Please do not think I am being elusive on the date but I still believe the recovery process will be longer and more drawn out since we now have HHS/CDC, and DOD assets being used in the operational theater across the country.

Also, don’t ask me to compare our situation to King County or New York City…that’s rude as we should never compare disasters against each other. It’s a low blow and petty. Be a professional and find real metrics with data…not just fodder to fill time.

Again, every situation is different and needs vary from location to location. No cookie cutter response will ever meet the needs of every community across the country. #fact

Be cognizant of the ongoing situation. Lives are at stake…

Please be good and do good stuff for your community.

@rusnivek

 

Small reminders of hope

Despite the tough times for countless communities across our area, there are small reminders that can help us through.

Yeah, I needed that. I needed to see that tonight.

Thankful for those who understand the time it takes to make it happen.

Thankful to so many kiddos out there who know something is wrong and can sense that Mom/Dad need some extra help. Thankful for sharing their creative minds with the rest of us. Allowing us to peer into their hearts is so pure and healthy for us to digest with a breath of fresh air.

These things make me more thankful to be working alongside good people to combat COVID19.

I hope all this ends soon.

@rusnivek

 

EMS working hard and PPE clean up

The evening is shift is supposed to be calm, but I don’t think the news wants to hear that as my phone has not stopped ringing.

Repeated call after call after call after call….does not bode well for your sanity. Trust your PIO when he/she/they said they will call you back with more info. I doubt any PIO has the intention to blow you off or to tease you with no call back.

Medical calls are harder with the increased focus on PPE. Paramedics and EMTs have been working their tails off this week and it’s only Tuesday.

However, we are seeing a surge in discarded PPE…like people are carelessly tossing your gloves everywhere.

Please, PLEASE clean up after yourself. Just dumping your gloves on the street isn’t a good look for you or your neighborhood.

Be responsible will ya!?!?!!

@rusnivek

Breakdowns from residents vs LTCF; Being nice to everyone

Quick morning phone call for the upcoming 2020 Democratic National Convention. So glad to hear public safety from both the 2020 DNC and 2020 RNC in attendance this morning. Hope to see all of you in July.

But back to your regularly scheduled program…#Coronavirus. As we continue to respond, our metrics are starting to improve. With this, I am starting to see a trend from the local news as they are focusing in on the congregate living…aka nursing home facilities.

As the External Affairs Officer, I believe that breaking the chart down and having clear cases of residents vs Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) might help the news media in separation to better tell their narrative of the congregate living.

Media in our area seems to be focused on the proximity of residents at nursing home facilities and their separation. Sounds about right as a county in the State of Washington was the first to see exponential growth of cases and deaths. My guess is they want to see/forecast the same issue in our area.

Conversely, nursing homes are scrambling to manage their current staff as well as accommodate the increase in distance between their populations. Remember, the majority of those in nursing homes have compromised immunity and frequently go to the hospital for injury/illness. Lots of challenges and every LTCF is going to have a different response and hazard level. No two places will be similar.

For every reporter that has called me for information, facts, interviews, press conferences, etc…..I have managed to eek in a few personal questions for them.

  1. How are you doing/doing OK?
  2. Like me, are you tired about this Coronavirus thing too?
  3. You safe? Protected with proper PPE? Do you have a mask?

Despite some real unfriendly and impatient reporters, I am happy to be able to provide some breath of relief to their hectic schedules. Some of them aren’t working their normal shifts, which I am sure it makes them uncomfortable. Additionally, there are some reporters who are operating outside their scope, which is very apparent to me.

Regardless of your role and agency, I am happy to talk to all of these reporters and pitch them stories too. Like always, I am keeping a log of who I talked to and hope to check back in with all of them once this thing is over.

Whether you are a international star, national news feature reporter, or just the local newsie, lets all try to be nice to each other because we are far from being done with this story. I project this issues to continue on through 2021…so now is the time to be real nice to each other. Please.

Reporting live from the JIC…

@rusnivek

Sunday has been more calm

Sunday Funday huh? I can tell you the sun is shining and it’s been a calm day.

Glad to see a more peaceful day esp since we have been working the magic for this COVID response. Seems like the media is a bit more relaxed on Sundays as they wait for national political commentary from the Sunday pundit shows.

Reporting live with a good view this afternoon…

@rusnivek

 

I laid some solid Saturday DadJokes

Since almost all daily routine/activities have been curtailed, going grocery shopping seems to have changed a bit.

While apprehensive to online ordering shopping, I opted to dive right in.

I crack myself up.

I know, you too are eggcited to hear the results.

My puns are like poultry in motion huh?

And here you thought I was just going to wing it…

OK OK OK OK…..Just trying to share some DadJoke humor with you to cheer you up.

I better go before these DadJokes keep you up around the cluck…

@rusnivek

Exercising to keep a routine during the Coronavirus

One of the things that have been keeping me somewhat in normal routine during this Coronavirus is exercise.

Prior to this response, I have been so consumed in the actual response that there was zero time dedicated to exercise and probably stress relief. That was not good. I understand the importance to normalize yourself during this long duration response.

What’s open? Any thing cool? Nope, not much.

Where do I go? All over, but mainly places that have lots of lights and security cameras.

Yep, happy to report the Bean has not contracted COVID-19 yet.

Since all gyms throughout the State of Illinois are closed, this self-initiated exercise routine makes me feel better and allows me to get some fresh air at night. With not a lot of businesses open and almost everyone working remotely, the city is eerily calm

And if you were wondering, I do wear my mask the entire time.

Also good reminder note to all of you…consider washing your mask on the regular.

@rusnivek

Ugly weather inbound with late season snowfall. #IsItSpringYet

Despite the Coronavirus and a cracked/extracted tooth…the show must go on.

Back at it in the EOC as we have some ugly weather inbound to our area with a late season snowfall expected.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

And don’t fool yourself, that rapid snow melting isn’t good either. (Think flooding)

It’s times like this that I am so glad we have built a strong relationship with our local National Weather Service Office. In our case, NWS-Chicago is our crew.

In the past few months, we have been are fortunate to partner with NWS-Chicago Mike Bardou to teach the FEMA Basic Academy Science class that is heavy into the science of weather and how it pertains to Emergency Management and the safety of any community. Audience hailed from 4 different FEMA Regions and ultimately provided some outstanding insight into weather forecasting.

This kind of ongoing partnership has allowed our Emergency Management staff to really understand the issues that severe weather brings to our areas and ultimately provides a better way to match the resources with the needs from each community.

Proud to continue our solid relationships with NWS-Chicago.

@rusnivek