Retama Manor residents celebrate Easter with COVID-19 precautions

HARLINGEN — Not even the pandemic could stop the Easter bunny.

The tall furry white critter paraded through the hallways of Retama Manor Nursing Center on Sunday, followed by employees adorned in face masks and good cheer. The parade was one of many activities the center organized to help residents enjoy Easter.

“ It was a proper celebration during these challenging times,” said Jeff Tait, CEO of Retama Manor.

“ We are following the CDC guidelines,” Tait said. “We’re trying to make it as normal as possible even though we’re all wearing face masks.”

The day’s events included movies and popcorn.

“ We had the Passion of the Christ movie playing,” Tait said. “We played it through one of the channels on TV so they could watch it in their rooms.”

And because residents can’t leave their rooms unless they absolutely have to, organizers made special accommodations.

“ We had somebody in a bunny outfit who went from room to room, waved from the door, and of course we had the parade of people going down the halls,” Tait said. “We had hall bingo and chair aerobics to keep active. The staff and its residents are thankful to the community for all their support during this difficult time. They were very excited.”

Residents expressed gratitude for the effort by Retama Manor employees.

“ I appreciate all the staff here at Retama,” said Reynaldo Weaver Jr., a Vietnam veteran.

“ I was video chatting with my wife and daughter and watched the hall parade and watched a movie from my room,” Weaver continued. “The Easter celebration was very special. They are all taking great care of me and I couldn’t ask for better.”

Tait proudly announced that no patients or employees at Retama Manor have tested positive for COVID-19.

“ We currently have zero symptomatic or pending results of tests,” he said. “If the residents need to go to the rehab gyms they are wearing masks. We’re still providing rehab seven days a week to make everything as normal as possible. If they want to get therapy in the rooms, we do that as well.”

Weaver’s family thanked Retama Manor.

“ My mother and I are so happy with the care Retama-Harlingen has been doing with my father,” said Stephanie Ann Weaver-Guzman.

“ All the nurses, certified nursing assistants and medicine techs give him the attention, courteous treatment and dignity around the clock he deserves and treat him like family,” Weaver-Guzman said. “Since we can’t be there in these unfortunate times, we are humbled to have the next best thing.”

Tait said Retama is open to accept new patients, but they must remain in a room by themselves for 14 days. They must have meals and activities in their rooms and wear masks when going to rehab.