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To all of Cedarcrest: good day.

Janiss here.

On Tuesday, March 10th, 2020, our facility closed its gates in an effort to protect our residents and staff.

Some of our staffers have family… family we can’t maintain on-site. On a voluntary basis (and in some cases with applicable compensation), most have chosen to stay with us while a few on the outside continue to support us. This is fine for singles and those whose kids are grown and support themselves, but it’s far harder when you have others depending on you that aren’t part of your paying job, so no judgment. Happily, we’ve worked through all of those situations.

I, of course, will stay on-site for the duration.

That said, there are three key takeaways the 2020 Quarantine makes abundantly clear.

First, for everyone in the West Virginia state legislature and in the United States congress, let me be clear: a $15 minimum wage is the LEAST you could do for what you’re all now calling “essentials services.” From truckers to utility workers and every grocery store employee, stop penalizing people from making a living wage just because “they could do better and should only be paid accordingly.” Yes, we’re all dependent upon the medical field and hospital workers (who are risking their lives trying to keep the citizenry alive and hospitals from being overwhelmed), but we all need to stop looking down at “mere” restaurant workers and begin seeing so-called entry-level work as a potential career choice instead of an unworthy stepping stone of shame.

Second, the Internet must be seen as a utility and the essential service it is. Especially in states like West Virginia where shady companies promise the moon, take your money, and provide no service while threatening to fine those who quit services they’re not even getting because of questionable contracts. Information, education, and the economy itself have been uploaded, and those without reach are being left behind. When the only way to get your paycheck and spend it is through “a hand-held talisman with a magical connection to a ghost tower” be effective, forget all that Net Neutrality stuff; like water and power, the ‘Net is now essential for survival.

Third, it’s time for tribalism to end. I’m not talking about Progressives and Conservatives or Elephants and Donkeys; I’m talking about seeing the Planet Earth for what it is: a living organism. While even my own parents complained about the Unites States being “the World’s Police Force,” there was a certain truth to it and a need for it. If a war breaks out, Americans can help keep it from spilling out into another country… or a bad actor from using the opportunity to expand into that region. But it should be clear by now to everyone (no matter who you voted for) that hiding behind a wall and wishing nothing gets through it is futile and foolish. Viruses don’t care about politics, borders, or economic status; they just want to infect another host and move on to the next… and that includes our country of residence. Helping others helps ourselves, even if it wasn’t already the right thing to do.

We’ll survive this. We can even thrive from it. For now, we have to limit the damage being done to buy the precious time needed to keep COVID-19 contained until the spread can be halted.

Hang in there, guys.

Trust me; I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
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