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Junior Cely Perez spends seven days a week working at the Tremont Retirement Home and despite all the recent changes made in response to COVID-19 concerns, Perez remains a daily figure at the home.

Perez spends her shifts distributing meals to residents in the home and finds the new work conditions “strange but manageable.”

“Once I adjusted, it was pretty much routine. I had to get used to keeping my distance since we’re not allowed to have direct contact with the residents anymore,” Perez said.

The new protocol involves gearing up in gloves and masks to distribute meals in disposable containers. Instead of gathering in the main dining room, residents now eat alone in their rooms where their food is brought to them and set at the foot of their door by employees like Perez.

“I know they miss coming outside and talking to us so the changes have been hard for them,” Perez said. “They always have a story to tell and most of them are still pretty funny and active behind the closed doors. A reassuring presence during these times means the world to them so I try to keep a smile on when I’m there even if they can’t see me.”

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