Four weeks was all they needed. In four weeks, the residents of Kensington Gardens would get their second dose of the vaccine, and they would be protected.
This thought gave Janet Fothergill hope in early January, after what felt like the longest year of her life.
Her husband, Philip Simone, had moved into Kensington a year earlier, two months before the global pandemic turned Ontario’s long-term-care crisis into a catastrophe.
Kensington, a well-regarded home in downtown Toronto, had been hit hard by a spring COVID-19 outbreak, but had been doing well since.
Through fall, the home had been reporting only one or two positive cases each week, usually in staff who had been infected in the community. They had been able to contain those small outbreaks, stamping out the embers before they turned into fire.
So far, Simone had been fortunate. The 73-year-old lived on a unit that did not have a single outbreak from March to December.
On Jan. 5, Simone and Fothergill received their first doses of the Moderna vaccine at Kensington, along with 287 other residents and 119 staff and essential caregivers.
There was a current of excitement in the home that morning. Medical staff took over the main-floor lobby and multipurpose room — where residents had gathered for concerts and birthday parties before the pandemic — and turned it into a clinic for workers and essential caregivers like Fothergill. Four teams from Women’s College Hospital went floor to floor, administering the vaccine to residents in their rooms or common areas.
“It felt like a celebration,” Fothergill said. “A new beginning for all of us.”
Fothergill, 71, sat in a chair across from a nurse and lifted the sleeve of her shirt. One jab in the upper arm and it was done.
“People were cheering, clapping, crying. I teared up,” said John Yip, president and CEO of Kensington Health, which runs the long-term-care home and other medical services including an eye surgery centre and hospice.
At the height of the first wave, Yip had worked alongside front-line staff as an aide, feeding residents who were sick and dying. Now it felt like he was witnessing a turning point.
“After a year of darkness,” he said, “there was hope.”
Ten days later, two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in Kensington’s weekly screening. Both worked on the first floor of the south building, which was home to 45 residents, including Philip Simone.
Four residents tested positive. Then another four. “It was like a needle hitting the balloon,” Fothergill said. Soon, Kensington would be in an outbreak that felt — in some ways, though not all — like a repeat of the first wave.
It has been a long year for people who live, work or have family in nursing homes. At the height of the pandemic’s first wave, Premier Doug Ford promised to put “an iron ring of protection” around long-term care, saying he would “spare no expense” to safeguard vulnerable seniors.
The iron ring did not appear. The second wave has proven even deadlier than the first — an “unthinkable and catastrophic failure,” according to Sinai Health geriatrician Dr. Nathan Stall. Last week, Ontario passed a grim milestone, when second-wave nursing home deaths — now at 1,880 — eclipsed the 1,850 seen in the first wave.
Experts say many deaths could have been avoided if the province had taken earlier measures to limit community spread, vaccinated long-term-care residents faster and protected vulnerable workers with measures including sick pay.
A spokesperson for Long-term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said the government has “continuously taken immediate actions” to support homes, including investing $1.38 billion.
Ontario’s long-term-care system, weakened by decades of systemic neglect, left many homes exposed, understaffed and ill-prepared for the pandemic. Horror stories of elder abuse and mass deaths have emerged from some of the hardest-hit facilities, where the virus spread fast through ward-style rooms or sickened so many employees that there was no one left to care for residents. This is not one of those stories.
Inside Kensington Gardens, workers have spent an exhausting 12 months fighting to keep residents safe from the fast-moving coronavirus. For every victory, the pandemic has delivered new twists and fresh blows, but they have managed to hold the line. Their story is one of grit, community and leadership, a place where people came together to forge their own iron ring.
This is how they did it.
Tsehay Kidane was halfway through a day shift at Kensington Gardens when she noticed something unusual on her unit: a group of managers gathered at the nurses’ station, looking shaken.
It was March 25, 2020, a week after Ontario entered lockdown. Kidane, a personal support worker, had just finished getting a resident washed and dressed.
“Come, come, come,” a coworker said. “Stop everything and come.”
All staff had been asked to gather.
A week earlier, one of Kidane’s residents on the unit, 3-West North, had started to feel unwell. The 82-year-old had a slight fever and cough, but was in good spirits. As a precaution, the resident had been tested for the coronavirus.
Kidane wasn’t worried. The symptoms were mild. It didn’t sound like the virus they’d been hearing about in the news.
But it was. The managers had come to the nurses’ station that morning to tell staff she had tested positive.
Kensington had its first COVID case. Kidane and her coworkers on 3-West North had been exposed.
“We started panicking,” Kidane said. “We were crying. I was thinking about my children. Another worker worried about her grandmother. We were sick from the panic.”
A single mom of two, Kidane, 45, had immigrated to Canada a decade earlier from Uganda, where she had lived as a refugee after fleeing war in Ethiopia. As a child, she’d been a nurturer, bandaging up other kids’ scrapes in the play yard.
Her goal was to work in health care, so after settling in Toronto she trained to become a personal support worker, studying full time while raising children on her own.
The work was hard, but Kidane loved her job. Her residents were like family. She dreamed of taking her education further, maybe becoming a registered practical nurse, but she was the sole provider for her children.
Kidane calmed herself as supervisors distributed personal protective equipment. She put on a mask, gown, gloves, face shield. “They showed us how to use it, how to protect residents and ourselves,” she said. She was terrified, but adrenaline kicked in.
She was proud of the work she did that day. But at home in the two-bedroom apartment she shares with her children, she vomited from anxiety. She stayed in her bedroom and warned the kids, then 13 and 21, to stay away.
“I felt like I might die at any time. Sometimes I was dying even in my dreams.”
For years there had been a staffing problem in long-term care in Ontario, but the pandemic exacerbated the crisis. Personal support workers, or PSWs, have one of the toughest jobs in health care. They assist residents with personal hygiene and toileting, spoon-feed them dinner, get them dressed; they help them into wheelchairs and reposition them in bed; they provide comfort and company. For this they make $20 per hour on average, below what the Ontario Living Wage Network considers enough to cover basic expenses in Toronto.
“We are not funded adequately enough to staff appropriately,” said Yip, the CEO. “We are at the mercy of the government funding formula.”
Working double shifts in understaffed homes in a job with a heavy physical and mental burden is gruelling at the best of times, but throw in a risk you could die, or infect your family with a deadly virus? When COVID hit, many left the field.
Kensington began losing staff. Some took leaves because they had high-risk medical conditions or lived with vulnerable family members. Others were just terrified. The problem worsened when new rules prevented PSWs from working in more than one home; many chose their higher-paying hospital or municipal jobs.
Kidane gave up a highly coveted City of Toronto job to stay at Kensington, where she had worked for nine years.
“When people heard that it was a COVID unit, nobody wanted to come to work. For me I feel like no, I have to stay with my residents until they get better. How can I leave them?”
Meanwhile, Kensington’s leadership team had been dealing with an urgent problem: they were running out of PPE.
Bill O’Neill, a vice-president responsible for day-to-day operations, had contacted their regular suppliers in late February, but they were all out amid a global shortage.
The leadership team began a frantic search. “It was like the wild west,” O’Neill said. One manager had a friend in Florida who owned a supply company from which they ordered gowns. A nurse practitioner knew of a Toronto distillery that had started making hand sanitizer, so they picked up a case. Someone else had a connection to a charitable foundation in Vancouver that helped them source masks from China. And at home on his laptop, O’Neill ordered $10,000 worth of gloves from Walmart. They also received one emergency shipment from the ministry of health.
By late March, with nursing home outbreaks ramping up across Ontario, workers at some homes were reporting they weren’t getting appropriate PPE.
Kensington had to make a decision: make medical masks mandatory now and risk running out during an outbreak, or hold them back and risk causing an outbreak.
“These were life-and-death decisions,” said CEO John Yip.
In a move that may have saved lives, Kensington — after confirming its first case — implemented universal masking on March 25, two weeks ahead of the province. Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, only ordered universal masking for front-line workers across the long-term-care sector on April 8, reversing a statement he had made a week earlier saying PPE wasn’t needed unless the home was in outbreak.
Another tough decision in the early days was to ban all visitors, even close family.
“A lot of the residents were in their rooms by themselves — all alone, all day,” said Elizabeth Carveth, whose husband, Will Lawrie, lived on the first outbreak unit. “The (PSWs) work extremely hard, they’re amazing people, but they don’t have time to sit and visit with people.”
Carveth didn’t see her husband for months, except through video chats, or waving from the street up to his third-floor balcony.
“He became more distant. I suppose you could say probably depressed, less engaged. You retreat, that’s what isolation does to you.”
Wai Yin Choy was the first resident to test positive, on 3-West North. Days before the home went on lockdown, she’d had a visitor who had COVID symptoms. Choy’s mild illness took a bad turn in late March, when her oxygen levels dropped.
“The staff, they take care of me very good,” she said. “When I went to hospital, some even called on the telephone and prayed for me.”
She spent several days at Mount Sinai, but made a full recovery.
Kensington managed to contain the first outbreak — no others were infected. But with community spread on the rise it wasn’t long before they had another.
The dementia unit is the worst place to have an outbreak. Residents are restless and often cannot understand the need to stay in their rooms or keep distant. They wander through corridors and into common areas — healthy behaviour that is encouraged in normal times, but can be deadly in a pandemic.
On April 9, a staff member on 1-East North, one of three secure units for people with dementia, tested positive. She had come to work while asymptomatic, without knowing she was infected.
Days later, Judy Searle got a call about her husband. Jim Searle, a resident at the home, was a retired architect with an adventurous spirit and a gift for storytelling. At 91, he had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for a decade.
With the visitor restrictions, Judy hadn’t seen him in nearly a month.
“It was gut-wrenching to be unable to be there,” she said. “A person with Alzheimer’s, they don’t know why nobody comes. I’m sure they think, ‘Oh, I’ve just been put here to die.’ ”
Before the pandemic, Jim enjoyed daily visits with his wife, children or grandchildren. Judy would take him for lunch on College St. One of their sons would drop by with his golden retriever, Milo, and Jim was always thrilled to see the dog.
Now the phone call brought bad news. Jim Searle had tested positive.
All but four of the 24 residents on 1-East North would contract the virus, along with six staff.
With infected workers at home isolating, Kensington reached a crisis point. At one point they had four people looking after 24 residents, when normally there would be eight.
Kensington put out an SOS call to staff in other areas including the eye surgery centre and hospice, asking if anyone would be willing to work in the long-term-care home.
Twenty-five people said yes. One was Joe Morache, a retired ICU nurse and firefighter winding down his career with a job at the surgery centre. His age, 65, and medical conditions put him at higher risk of complications from the virus, but he did it anyway.
“I’m used to running into burning buildings,” he said. “I find it hard to turn people down when they need help. And the Gardens was in a desperate situation.”
With the home in survival mode, the senior leadership team took on new responsibilities. Yip worked as an aide on the outbreak floor for 102 days, helping residents with feeding. O’Neill, the vice-president, worked as a cleaner. Nadine Persaud, a senior director responsible for palliative care, served breakfast.
“We went wherever we were needed,” Persaud said. “If I needed to jump into the kitchen and take off my high heels and put on a hairnet, that’s what I was doing.”
With some residents sick and dying, Persaud turned her attention to a dilemma: family members wanted to say goodbye to their loved ones, but visitors weren’t allowed in.
Persaud had an idea. The dining room on 1-East North opened to a courtyard garden with street access. What if they brought families into the courtyard and arranged visits through the glass door?
It was sad, in a way: a life coming down to a goodbye through an emergency door. But it was better than nothing.
One day in mid-April, a worker wheeled Jim Searle’s bed into the dining room while his family gathered in the courtyard. His wife, Judy, was on the other side of the door; so were two of their sons, their partners, three grandsons and Milo the golden retriever.
Jim was fading. He hadn’t spoken in days. A grandson lifted the large dog up to the door for Jim to see.
“Milo is here,” they said.
Jim looked at the dog. “I knew he would come,” he said.
Jim died two weeks later. A staff member, Tom Wright, held up an iPad for hours so that Judy could be with him until the end.
Wright, a 47-year-old scientist with a PhD in neurophysiology, normally ran a diagnostic clinic at Kensington’s Eye Institute, but had volunteered to work as an aide during the outbreak.
Judy worried she was taking up too much of his time. “You must have other people to look after,” she said.
“My shift is just about over,” Wright said. “I’ll stay with you until the end.”
Staff knew Judy’s greatest fear was that Jim would die alone. Wright stayed more than an hour after his shift.
“I saw with my own eyes. I saw him die,” Judy said. “And realized that he was not in pain, or agony. So that was a privilege that I had, to be there. It comforted me greatly.”
It was a traumatic time for staff. They worked double shifts. They fielded calls from distressed relatives. They provided emotional support for isolated residents. They worked under the pressure of having to exercise constant vigilance, donning and removing personal protective equipment 40 or more times a day.
With funeral home workers unable to enter, staff had to prepare the bodies of the residents they had cared for and wheel them outside in a transparent body bag.
Over 11 days in late April and early May, Kensington lost eight residents on 1-East North. Twelve recovered.
When Janet Fothergill started searching for a home for her husband, Kensington Gardens was the first place she visited.
It was a not-for-profit home just north of Kensington Market, on land where the Doctors Hospital once stood. The 350 residents lived in one of two brick buildings, each shaped like the letter H.
Fothergill took notes as she toured the building. It was bright and clean. Residents seemed happy and well cared for. (Elsewhere she would hear cries of “Get me out of here.”) The staff were cheerful, and management seemed to value transparency.
“It was the place that had the most positive lasting impression on me,” she said. “I visited five other long-term-care homes, and some were frightening.”
Fothergill, a pianist and instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music, adored her husband of 46 years. When asked for a photo of Simone for this story, she said immediately she knew the perfect one. “It’s from just before Christmas and he looks so handsome.” His eyes were bright, she said, and he looked happy and healthy. When she sent the picture, the subject line of her email said: “My dear husband — Philip Simone.”
Simone, a retired IT security project manager, was a kind and gentle man who was fascinated with how things work, from the mechanics of old appliances he took apart as a teenager, to the electrical work he taught himself when he and his wife bought their first home, to the mysteries of the universe as viewed from the cottage dock with his daughter.
If Fothergill had to move her husband into a home, she wanted it to be Kensington. Simone went on the waitlist.
The home had other advantages that would become more important in March 2020.
All rooms were private rather than shared or ward-style, which would help control the spread of the virus.
It was a not-for-profit, which would see lower rates of COVID-19 infection and death than for-profit homes. (Four of the five facilities whose horrific conditions were detailed in a May 2020 Canadian military report were for-profit.)
Kensington had a partnership with Women’s College Hospital, which would step in to assist with infection prevention and control, testing and vaccination clinics.
The home had a well-established leadership team, with some executives and senior managers in place for decades.
When Simone moved to Kensington in January 2020, he was placed on 1-East South, a secure unit for people with advanced dementia.
Simone had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at 62. He and Fothergill had made the most out of his healthy years, travelling to England and New York, going to lectures and concerts.
During his first two months at Kensington, Fothergill visited often, helping him get to know staff and residents, taking him for walks.
That ended abruptly in March. With strict pandemic rules and visitors banned, Kensington began to feel less like a home and more like an institution, a change mourned by everyone connected to the community.
Simone got lucky. During the first wave, there was not a single outbreak on 1-East South. It was 1-West North where nearly all residents became infected.
In June, with the outbreak in the north building over and the curve flattening in Ontario, the province loosened restrictions. Family could return for visits, with precautions including screening and PPE.
Throughout the summer, Kensington had a few small outbreaks, but nothing that spun out of control, and no COVID-related deaths. During that period of stability, the home received a special request from Simone’s family.
His daughter, Louise Simone, 37, had postponed her big May wedding, then cancelled it. She and her partner had shifted to planning a small ceremony, but it didn’t feel right to do it without her father.
Philip Simone couldn’t leave the long-term-care home. The only other option was to bring the wedding to him.
In late August, with permission from Kensington and Toronto Public Health, Louise Simone and her partner, Chris Barlosky, were married in the courtyard outside her father’s home. The gardens Kensington is named for were in full bloom. Louise wore a mask sewn from the same material as her wedding dress. There were 11 guests, including the bride and groom’s parents.
Fothergill had a grey suit tailored for the father of the bride. A PSW got Simone dressed up and escorted him outside.
“He was so very proud,” his wife said.
After the ceremony, they played “Brown Eyed Girl,” a song Simone and his daughter had always enjoyed together. “Music is his world at this point in the disease,” Louise said. “It’s what brings him out of himself.” Philip clapped his hands and tapped his feet while his daughter danced beside him.
Louise wasn’t sure whether the day would stay with her father, but when she called to check on him the morning after, he said, “You looked beautiful.”
In late December, with the virus growing out of control across Ontario, disturbing stories began emerging from overwhelmed nursing homes.
Doctors issued an urgent plea for help at Tendercare Living Centre in Scarborough, where there weren’t enough workers to care for sick residents, 81 of whom would die. An outbreak in early January at Roberta Place in Barrie infected all 129 residents and killed more than half of them.
Kensington had been preparing for the second wave for months. Heading into it, staff had more of a key ingredient that hadn’t been present in high volumes during the first wave: confidence.
Tsehay Kidane felt it. The personal support worker no longer had that panicky feeling when she went to work.
The confidence came from knowing more about the virus. It came from training and experience with infection prevention and control procedures, including quality audits, where monitors observe front-line workers to make sure they are following protocol.
It came from the mountain of PPE in Kensington’s boardroom, which was now a dedicated supply room.
It came from the surveillance testing of staff that had started in June. Kidane got swabbed on Thursdays, with results the next morning.
It came from the vaccine. Kidane had been hesitant, yes, nervous about side effects and things she read on the internet. But the first dose gave her an immediate feeling of relief.
Kidane also drew confidence from making her residents happy. It felt like a kind of magic that by performing a simple task — helping someone wash, making them comfortable — she could conjure a brightness in them.
“How do I say it?” she asked, thinking. “There is no more happiness for me than bringing a smile to their face.”
Kidane’s job was now a lot more work. When a floor is on outbreak, PSWs and nurses must suit up in full PPE drawn from yellow caddies outside each resident’s room, then immediately remove it all when they leave.
A lot of sweating happens under all that gear. “If you stay in the room for five or 10 minutes, you’re cooked,” said Zelda Bernardo, a nurse in the north building. “Sometimes your glasses will fog up and you can’t touch your face.”
Staffing remained an issue at Kensington and elsewhere.
“I can’t stress enough the challenge it is to keep staff,” said O’Neill, the vice-president. “The hospitals are hiring. The municipal homes are hiring. The pay there is better and it’s unionized. Some people are leaving the sector — I think because of COVID. They’re just saying, I can’t do it anymore. It’s exhausting to stay.”
In short-staffed homes, or homes forced to bring in agency fill-ins, warning signs of infection may go unnoticed. Kensington’s philosophy is to “have a high index of suspicion for the virus,” said Dr. Mark Goldstein, medical director at the home.
“If you don’t have enough staff or the staff are spread too thin, or they don’t know the resident all that well,” Goldstein said, “they might miss out on that first early clue that something’s not quite right.”
The first wave had been a crash course in how to handle a pandemic. Now, that learning would be put to the test.
In late January, the new outbreak in the south building was weighing on John Yip.
“I’m nervous,” he admitted with a sigh. “There’s a lot going on.”
Eighteen residents had tested positive. They all lived on 1-East South and 1-West South, adjacent dementia units on the first floor.
Yip, a 48-year-old triathlete and father of two, is an optimist, but 11 months of leading a nursing home through a pandemic had taken a toll. He was frustrated that the hope felt on vaccination day had evaporated for some families.
Kensington had not confirmed the source of the latest outbreak, but believed it likely entered the home through an asymptomatic staff member and spread through the dementia unit, where some residents wander.
The January outbreak was feeling uncomfortably similar to the April outbreak in the north building.
Two residents on 1-East South had died. The 16 others on the floor were stable, but Yip knew how quickly things could escalate.
Three additional staff had contracted the virus, prompting managers to ramp up infection prevention and control audits.
On top of that, Kensington had received two new orders from the province. One had come as a shock: homes were getting $41 million in funding to hire new staff “such as security guards” to supervise their screening stations. Yip called this “an insult” and “completely unnecessary” — their screeners had been doing an excellent job for nearly a year. He was angry.
“These new initiatives just keep dropping on our backs,” he said. “Instead of the tens of millions of dollars the government’s spending on security, maybe they should spend it on front-line staff.”
Another directive ordered homes to have rapid testing up and running by mid-February. Staff were to be tested two to three times a week, and essential caregivers would require a test every time they entered the home. The ministry had sent 3,000 tests to start, and every single one had to be documented. (Later, Kensington’s deadline would be moved to March 15.)
Yip supported rapid testing, but this was a huge undertaking when they were short-staffed and being pulled in many directions.
“We’re dealing with vaccination clinics, dealing with outbreaks, dealing with PPE, dealing with day-to-day care,” Yip said. “It’s just a lot for a home like ours to take on all these things and do them well.”
He wanted to focus on patients, not worry about security guards.
(Later, the ministry would clarify the policy, saying homes had to hire third-party screeners, not necessarily security guards, and that the goal was to free up front-line staff. But an early memo caused confusion throughout the sector.)
There was something else on Yip’s mind, too. “I’m scared s–tless of the variants,” he said. None of the fast-spreading strains of the disease had been detected at Kensington, but news of mass infections in other homes was terrifying.
Through the pandemic, Yip and his team had been sending out updates to families a few times a week, whenever there was a positive case, a milestone, or a death. “Whatever it is, we’re honest,” Yip said. “We don’t sugar-coat it.”
One update in late January acknowledged that “it may feel like we are living through wave one of the virus all over again,” but offered reassurance: this time, they had much more research and experience caring for residents with COVID-19.
Nine days had passed since the first resident in the south building tested positive. Complications from the virus can develop two to three weeks after infection.
The next two weeks would be crucial.
Philip Simone didn’t look like himself. He was shuffling around when his wife visited him on a Sunday in mid-January. His colour was off. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Fothergill helped him into bed and within minutes he was asleep.
Days later, he tested positive for COVID-19. He was one of 10 infected residents on 1-East South. There were another eight positive cases on the next unit over, 1-West South.
His wife and daughter were stunned. They spent days in a fog of dread.
Simone developed a fever. He wouldn’t eat. All he wanted to do was sleep.
Staff phoned Fothergill at least once a day with updates, which kept her from spiralling. The home’s medical director said he hoped the first dose of the vaccine would protect Simone from severe symptoms, but there were no guarantees.
In a smaller outbreak in the north building, two more residents died after testing positive for the virus, while a third recovered. It brought Kensington’s COVID death toll to 12, which was lower than many homes, but a number no one wanted to see climbing.
Simone’s wife and daughter had been preparing for the pain of one day saying goodbye, but they didn’t want to lose him to this terrible virus.
On Jan. 22, a Friday, Fothergill got a call from the home’s medical director, Goldstein, who feared Simone might be developing pneumonia. He ordered an X-ray and started antibiotics.
Fothergill visited her husband that weekend. She was frightened, but felt it was important to reassure him.
A sign on his door said “STOP” and warned anyone entering to wear appropriate PPE, including a mask and eye protection.
Fothergill suited up and entered the room, where she found her husband well cared for, but weak.
“We love you,” she told him. “We want you to get better. Don’t go.”
“I’ll do my best,” he said.
On her way out, Fothergill walked past the empty room of a resident who had died.
A week passed. A long, dark week for Simone’s wife and daughter.
Slowly, his condition started to improve. He didn’t develop pneumonia after all, which Fothergill attributed to the quick action of Kensington’s medical team. His colour came back. He started to eat. He requested an Americano, his favourite coffee. When Fothergill visited, she sensed that staff were more upbeat.
By early February, Simone and the 15 other residents had recovered. They were all able to receive the second dose of the vaccine as planned.
On the Friday before Valentine’s Day, Louise Simone visited her dad. They listened to Elvis on his computer, talked about her new puppy and took a walk on his floor, saying hello to Tran, the nurse. Louise gave her dad a shave and washed his face. “He likes when I dote on him,” she said.
After dinner, Tran got him some ice cream, which he said was “beautiful.” When it was time to go, Louise told her father she loved him and would see him again soon. Goodbyes are always hard.
Earlier this week, Toronto Public Health declared the outbreak on Simone’s floor over.
Every resident of Kensington Gardens who wanted to get vaccinated — 96 per cent of them — has now had both doses.
That along with declining infection rates in the community has been a relief for John Yip, though he knows there will be more challenges ahead for the long-term-care sector, including an increasingly exhausted workforce.
When Yip struggles to summon his optimism, he thinks of all the bright spots in this very dark year: the bravery of people like Tsehay Kidane, who came to work when she was needed; the family visits through the emergency door; the worker who held up an iPad for hours so a woman could be with her dying husband; the wedding in the nursing home courtyard.
And then, because this isn’t over yet, he gets back to work.