Update Messages from Msgr. Muldoon
Staying protected. Ever since the coronavirus became an epidemic in the country, I have kept a close eye on the local situation. Daily I read the Tampa Bay Times numbers for the local 7 counties namely Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus. Pinellas has really kept the numbers low and in today’s paper, the positivity rate was 3%, the lowest in the area. Area codes rates of infection are also indicative of COVID-19 activity. I always feel a need to affirm those who are truly helpful in this very difficult situation. Fr. Tom has done an exemplary job here at St Jerome in leading us through this trial, as is Phyllis Steele at the Early Childhood Center. I was therefore curious about the policies at work here at Madonna Ptak Rehab Center. When the hospital recommended that I come here, I was directed to take another COVID-19 test. I had already taken one when I was first admitted to the hospital on September 12th. Then on September 21, they insisted I take another. So once again they “tickled my nostrils.” Within a few hours, the results once again showed that I did not have the virus. Then after entering the Center we are quarantined for 10 days to one part of the building. All meals are in your room plus all the physical and occupational therapies take place in your room. This limits the staff but they still do well and I am tired after each session. My goal is to get back my ability to walk anyplace without the assistance of a cane, walker, wheelchair or another person. I have made great improvements since the surgery. I usually want to do more than the therapist allows because they do not want me to fall. After 10 days I leave the quarantine and I can utilize the gym and other amenities. The staff all use protective clothing and if I have to be in the corridor, I will need to wear a mask. So I commend the efforts of the Center to keep us all safe. Hopefully, Pinellas County will continue to be the leader in the area and we soon will have a vaccine to end this pandemic. Let’s watch out for each other and together, with a vaccine and our cooperation, the pandemic will end and we can all return to Church and praise God as the Body of Christ.
It became very clear to me that the good Lord heard and responded to all of your prayers. I have now been discharged from the hospital and in rehab, preparing me for eventual return to home. My initial trip to the hospital was of an emergency nature and I was very weak. The doctors made all the right decisions and my gallbladder was removed. My initial recovery was challenging but progressed well. I went from intensive care to regular room and then discharge in a short time. Within a month I hope to be fully functional and able to thank you all in person. I have promised to celebrate Mass for all of your intentions at the beautiful shrine chapel at the site of Mary’s apparition in Knock Ireland as soon as the COVID-19 virus lets me. In the meantime, I am praying for all of you daily.