Summer 2020 Brings Beauty, Freedom, and Community Responsibility

The summer of 2020 has been one of the most beautiful of the past few years at Piper Shores. Our flowers and gardens are in full bloom. Residents who are growing herbs and vegetables are enjoying an ongoing and bountiful harvest. In short, life at Piper Shores continues, despite the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic.

Piper Shores is happy to report that we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19, which again, can be attributed to our safety protocols and everyone living a masked and distanced life. Our outdoor dining and exercise classes are well attended and enjoyed by many. Scheduled outdoor family visits for both our Holbrook and independent living residents have been hugely successful.

August is the month when we normally have a lavish lobster dinner for our anniversary, always held under a large tent and attended by a large majority of residents. Sadly, we have had to cancel the dinner this year, but instead, we have made August our Anniversary Month. The celebration includes a full calendar of safe events ranging from walks to Higgins Beach, Zoom Trivia Night, Game Day, viewings of Hamilton on our large screen, staff demonstration of disc golf, oceanside jazz concert on the lawn, and much more! We may be in a pandemic, but we are trying our darnedest to provide some fun and normalcy!

As mentioned in our previous update, Piper Shores created a series of metrics to help determine the right conditions to re-open the community. Thankfully, those metrics continue to be favorable. While the campus remains closed to visitors, we have allowed independent residents to come and go beginning in the middle of July. With that came a bit of giddiness mixed with anxiety as everyone in the community, residents and staff alike, contemplated the ‘what ifs’ of reopening. A small group of residents created a “Community Responsibility” document (see below) that was shared with all independent living residents before re-opening. They felt it was important to remind everyone that we are all in this together, and the actions of one can affect many.

At the end of July, we also had our first new resident move-in since the pandemic started. It was a success with many safety protocols in place. We are anticipating additional move-ins over the next few months.

We recognize that Maine has one of the lowest COVID-19 case numbers in the country, which has allowed us to try to live life as normal as possible. We also recognize that many of our friends, family, and wait list members live all over the country and world, where in some areas, cases continue to rise. We are all hoping to overcome this crazy virus and have a return to “normal” sooner than later.

Please continue to come back to our website for updates.

Piper Shores Community Responsibilities During COVID-19

(Written by Piper Shores residents)

The founders of Piper Shores aspired to more than a collection of buildings, amenities, and services. They envisioned a community undergirded by mutual respect, cooperation, and the sharing of joy in activities, the natural setting, and each other. Community living can be challenging. It calls for us to balance “we” and “me” – to view a personal decision in light of the impact of that decision upon others. If we needed a reminder of this, COVID-19 has provided it.

As we respond to the pandemic, it is vital that we strengthen the Piper Shores ethos of caring for our neighbors. We commit to maintaining a common sense of decency, generosity, and cooperation. As we gingerly begin to “open the windows and doors,” let us make our decisions and behave in ways that protect us all. We agree that with the opportunity to leave the campus comes the responsibility, upon our return, to adhere to Piper Shores’ practices and protocols so that we do not endanger residents or staff. A risk incurred by anyone who lives or works here affects everyone who lives or works here. To that end, we share the following guidance:

  • Carefully follow the three basic strategies for preventing COVID-19 spread: hand hygiene, face coverings, and physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Remember that face coverings help protect the wearer from infection and are even more effective at preventing an infected person from spreading the virus. On campus, always wear face coverings when leaving home.
  • Continue to keep up to date on information on COVID-19 safety precautions available on the TouchTown app and on websites such as the Maine CDC and US CDC.
  • Be alert to the prevalence of COVID-19 in Maine and other locations if traveling. Share Piper Shores’ guidance with family and visitors.
  • Make sure that the business establishments to be frequented are following best practices as issued by the Maine CDC.
  • One’s own vehicle can be considered excellent “Personal Protective Equipment.” If going out for a drive, consider whether it is wise to leave the vehicle.
  • Refer to the included listing of activities, categorized by risk level, to choose the safest options.

In your planning for daily activities, ask these questions to assess your risk:

  • How many people will I interact with? The more people, the higher the risk. Of course, groups that are not physically distancing or wearing face coverings elevate the risk significantly.
  • Will I be indoors or outdoors? Outdoor settings are safer than indoor settings. There is more ventilation outdoors, and it is typically easier to maintain physical distance of 6 feet or more.
  • How long will I be interacting with others? Brief exposures carry much less risk than extended exposures.
  • Will I be engaging with people outside my family or regular contacts? While anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier, we can rely on those closest to us to be open about their exposures. Avoid unnecessary physical contact.

We recognize that individuals have differing ways of coping – and differing underlying conditions – that affect reactions to this pandemic. At Piper Shores, a concern for all, including the most vulnerable in the community, is a matter of mutual kindness and respect, and a collective responsibility.