Kelley Leer, 53

In one of the hardest-hit coronavirus hotspots in Pennsylvania sits Arbour Square Senior Living Community of Harleysville. For now, residents are free of the virus, but not without the help of staff like Kelley Leer.

In the small town of Harleysville, which is northwest of Philadelphia, Leer has been working long hours to ensure the elderly people the community remain safe.

“My 40 hour a week job has now gone to about 50 hours a week, give or take, which is nice for overtime but it’s exhausting. I’m on my feet constantly,” she said.

Leer, who normally helps new residents acclimate to the community, now just does whatever is needed. Among other tasks, she works in the kitchen and in administration, contacting residents to make sure they are doing ok with the quarantine.

“Residents are high anxiety and they’re yelling at us a little bit, asking why they don’t have masks and how long they have to be in their rooms and why is the food cold. Things have been really different,” she said. 

Five employees have tested positive for COVID-19, but there have been no reported cases among residents.

“When I keep hearing on the news all these nursing homes and senior centers are becoming so inundated with the virus and none of our residents have it, and it’s been a month,” said Leer. “I’m starting to feel hopeful that maybe we are doing everything right and maybe we will escape this without our residents becoming ill.”

Despite the uncertain times, Leer is happy that she is able to step up and help.

“I actually feel helpful. I’m not nervous to get coronavirus, I’m not really worried about it,” she said. “I’m actually kind of on a weird high, that I’m busy and I feel like I’m just helpful.”

Michael Garcia is currently a journalism major at Florida International University (FIU) in his senior year. He is the Vice President and co-founder of the Modern Sports Media Group LLC. In addition to behind the scenes and everyday management of Modern Sports Media Group, he is the co-host of the Nothin’ But Net show and The Get in The Box podcast, both of which are Modern Sports Media productions. Sports are his biggest focus and a large reason for selecting his FIU major and career path.