From the Desk of Jaime Lawrence…

(My “work from home desk”)

My kids are playing outside more now, thank goodness! We need the warmer days and fresh air, as being stuck home is hard enough. You, like us, are likely spending all your time at home as well, due to all of the COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

I’ve found that I am putting a lot of bandaids on things right now. Bandaids on scraped knees from playing hard outside. Bandaids on feet after pulling out splinters. Bandaids on little fingers that have gotten pinched, but aren’t actually bleeding, because Mickey Mouse bandaids make everything better. 

I started using bandaids the moment COVID-19 or the Coronavirus started to be something serious that we needed to respond to. I pulled out our infection control policies, adapted them, and sent them to our contracts to reassure them that we were ready and doing our part. A bandaid. 

I revamped my employee handbook to include a COVID-19 section to reassure my employees that we were ready. A bandaid. 

Then it happened. The biggest injury that we never saw coming. In three days, Harmony Garden lost 85% of its billable revenue. There was no bandaid big enough to fix this gaping hole. I had to make a horrible choice to lay off all but one employee, Kara. Kara and I became the bandaid, trying hard to keep Harmony Garden together. 

(My work at the office “desk” since I am the only person to come into the office these days)

This seems dramatic, I know. COVID-19 is something that we can’t put a bandaid on. As a nation we are trying. Trying to navigate this new life. Trying to grasp at things that will make life feel “normal” again. Trying to stay healthy. Trying not to worry. Trying to be both parents and teachers to our children. Trying to keep our family and loved ones safe. We are trying. 

Harmony Garden was lucky enough to receive one of the biggest bandaids EVER, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan. I’m beyond grateful for this bandaid that looks like a giant stack of hundred dollar bills… This bandaid allowed me to bring my staff back on as employees. It is allowing us time. Time to adjust. Time to create. Time to connect. Time to make music. Time to heal. It may, honestly, just be a temporary bandaid, but I’m ok with that. I needed someone to hand me something that made the tears go away and give me hope, even if it is just an eight week bandaid. 

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny ALWAYS give our kids bandaids every year. Two boxes for each child. This is a total of 12 boxes of bandaids that we AT MINIMUM have in our house to use over the course of the year. We go through EVERY ONE of them. Just now while writing this, I heard my littlest, Riley, crying. She fell while running around in the driveway. I could see her out the window, so I went to the bathroom, grabbed a bandaid, went outside, dusted her off, gave her a kiss, and put a bandaid on her elbow. Immediately, the tears were gone and I was able to come back and finish my blog post about exactly that… 

If anyone I know needs a Disney Princess bandaid, even unnecessarily, in order to stop tears from flowing, it is ok. I will make sure that Harmony Garden is here to give you that bandaid. 

-Jaime Lawrence, MT-BC