April 23, 2024
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COVID-19: Is the Mashiach Coming?

(Courtesy of St. Mary’s General Hospital) Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, lived in the late 1700s and had a number of quotations that were very inspiring. One that applies today was: “Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love.” And no, we do not mean the “Flower Power” of the 1960s!

“We have been hearing nothing but the negatives associated with COVID-19—how many got the virus? How many died? How long will we be quarantined?” said George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison for St. Mary’s General Hospital, Passaic. “All very depressing stuff. When is it all going to end? In honor of St. Mary’s General Health staff in Passaic who celebrated the 100th discharge of a coronavirus patient exactly one month after it received its first patient with the virus, the hospital has decided to focus on the positive.”

Now, when a patient is discharged, the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” is played over the loudspeakers to let everybody know that a patient recovered from COVID-19 and is being discharged! Now you can see the smiles on staff when they hear: “Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right… ”

“And, as we all know, the Mashiach is not going to come until we all get along—so what better opportunity do we have than to start now!” said Matyjewicz. “Maybe the reason we are all quarantined is because we can’t get along. So, since we cannot get out and mingle with others, let us think about all those people who we have a gripe about and figure out what we will do to change that. Think about this pandemic and all the suffering that has been going on—healthcare staff working unbelievable hours, away from their families, watching patients suffer and maybe die. Then back again the next day with little sleep and caring for the extra patients who arrived—so many patients that three tents had to be erected outside the emergency room at St. Mary’s General!”

Then there is the bright side—all those wonderful people who recognize what healthcare workers are doing and show their appreciation by writing thank you cards or by volunteering or donating time, flowers, food, money or supplies. Like kids in the Passaic-Clifton frum community who sent cards, and Girl Scouts Brownie Troop 96806 who donated 30 boxes of their delicious Girl Scout cookies to our front-line staff.

Alyson Moyano, who has a small business, Costumes by Aly, handmade masks for our team members, per CDC guidelines. Mask have fashionable patterns and come in multiple sizes, catering to all our front-line staff.

The East Rutherford Fire Department members dropped off lunch for staff—a small gesture to show their appreciation for the long hours and hard work these dedicated health professionals are putting in. Clifton’s Disabled American Veterans Chapter 2 members donated gas cards to St. Mary’s General Hospital ER nurses and staff —this was from people who experienced a different war and have first-hand experience with tragedy.

The Passaic Police Department paid tribute to nurses and staff at St. Mary’s General Hospital with bouquets of flowers and lights/sirens from their squad cars. Sergeant Claudia Agguire decided that there was just too much sadness in Passaic, a hot spot city in a county that is one of the hardest hit in New Jersey by COVID-19. The Sergeant enlisted some of her fellow officers to bring some smiles to St. Mary’s General, Passaic’s only hospital, for “Operation Spread Some Love.”

Our team members were appreciative and touched by this gesture, many with tears in their eyes when the officers arrived as staff was beginning a new shift.

Then there were the many businesses who donated food—like Teddy and Deborah Cohen from Passaic Jerusalem Pizza, who were getting ready for Pesach and took time out of that hectic schedule to package up soups, baked ziti, salads and much more for the staff at the hospital. As one member of the kehila said: “It was nice to hear of something going to the emergency room that we don’t have to daven for!”

We even had a donation from “Superman”—otherwise known as Phillip Stafford from the NJ Food & Clothing Rescue, who came to St. Mary’s General to donate 2,000 pairs of gloves for the staff. Across the nation, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and gowns for healthcare workers is in short supply. That donation helped keep our staff and patients safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

St. Mary’s General Hospital is so proud of our team members, all who have stepped up tremendously during this public health crisis. As we continue to move forward in tackling this pandemic that is threatening our own community, we want everyone to please keep our team members close to their thoughts and prayers as they lead this effort on the front lines. Please support us so that we can support you.

During these times, we have experienced an enormous amount of generosity and support from our local community, and sincerely appreciate these kind gestures that go so far with our team members. Thank you!

For additional information please contact the community liaison, George Matyjewicz, at [email protected].

Saint Mary’s General Hospital is located at 350 Boulevard, Passaic. They can be reached at (973) 365-4300 or at https://www.smh-nj.com/

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