My Experience During “Shelter-in-Place”

Robert Yang, South Bay Work, Integrate, Learn, Live (W.I.L.L.) Training Program Teacher

Shelter-in-place was a challenge to all of us. At FCSN, most of our roles in the Day Program have changed. For me, I was assigned to plant care, materials delivery, virtual lunch time with the clients, and sometimes morning social and exercise.

I take care of plants at our South Bay Center and the Community Garden Plot at Morley Park. From March, the weather has been very good. I went to FCSN and Morley Park to water plants and use tools to remove weeds.

I am also assigned to deliver learning materials to clients who are unable to join the online classes. I appreciated the management’s decision to offer support to our clients through the materials that my co-workers prepared. Due to this, I believe the clients, parents, and staff are closer than usual.

Robert (left), Popo (wrapping Robert) & Sean (right)

Besides my material deliveries, I also spent extra time to engage with our clients to keep them connected and stay healthy. For example: Whenever I deliver materials to Sean, we will do some exercises outdoors and practice English. One time, Sean, his father Mike, and I looked at photos and watched videos about Sean’s younger years. It was a very happy experience to see how far he has grown. When we take walks to the park, Sean walks ahead and leads us around the ponds to watch the swimming ducks. He is very happy to go out  and do exercises with me instead of staying at home during this Shelter-in-Place period.

I also visit my client, Popo Lee. When Popo has his lunch, he gets a computer next to him. Popo’s parents prepare a lot of toys to keep him busy. When Popo is doing fine, he can eat a lot. But then, he will turn to the cycle that he has very minimum of food intake.  Popo’s parents plan to convert the garage for Popo so he can have his own space- living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. It should be completed by Christmas time. That’s really a wonderful Christmas gift to Popo.

I really look forward to FCSN reopening and life returning to the way it was.  When I go to the South Bay Center to water the plants and gather materials for delivery, I often see Eric who comes to the Center every day to see whether we are still closed. He asks me when FCSN will reopen and when he doesn’t need to wear masks anymore. So, I know I am not the only one. Everybody longs for FCSN to reopen as soon as possible!

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