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Spectrum patients make 'COVID-19 window messages' video for family that can't visit

"There's no better time than right now," a Spectrum recreational therapist said.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Patients and residents at a local nursing and rehab facility shared loving messages in a video for family unable to visit during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

"There is so much fear and negativity going on right now," said Katie Adams, a recreation therapist for Spectrum Health. "It's just the perfect time to spread a little joy and love to others around us."

Like many facilities, the Spectrum Health Rehab and Nursing Center on Kalamazoo Avenue is not currently allowing visitors. The staff works to provide that socialization, but it can't replace time with family, said Recreational Therapy Coordinator Maria Chase. 

"There's definitely a change," Chase said. "You see it and feel it, but hopefully it's temporary."

After seeing similar videos online, Chase and Adams rounded up patients to write notes on a dry-erase board for family and friends. The video, called "COVID-19 window messages," shows people saying anything from "I miss you," to "spread joy, not germs."

People have been so thankful, Adams said. 

"It's such a little thing that has made such a big difference," she said. "I think for residents in particular it means so much to have a voice and have an impact and share these messages with their community."


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