If it’s possible, Mory Konate and the residents of Maynard House, whom he devotedly refers to as his “Maynard guys,” grew even closer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the country’s worst public health crisis in a century, Mory faced unprecedented professional and personal challenges as he worked to ensure the well-being of the residents of The Guild for Human Services’ adult home in Maynard that he manages.

In the middle of March, the day programs that serve the house’s residents shuttered due to the coronavirus. Suddenly, Mory and his staff team were responsible for their care 24 hours a day. In response to the requests of the “Maynard guys,” cooking classes and Zumba sessions were organized. A trampoline was installed in the backyard. Additional soccer balls and basketballs were ordered.

“We kept the guys busy with activities so it felt just like a day program,” Mory says. “The Guild was very supportive and provided everything that we asked for.”

A few weeks into the pandemic, two Maynard staff members tested positive for COVID-19 so the residence was put under a quarantine. Residents were restricted to their rooms and visitors were not permitted. 

“I was proud that after three weeks of following all of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines the quarantine was lifted and all of the individuals and staff came out of it healthy,” Mory reports.

Mory contracted COVID-19 himself and had to quarantine for two weeks. It was difficult to be away from both his Maynard family and his own family (wife and four children ages 14 years to 20 months).

“It was a really, really big challenge,” recalls Mory, who never developed any symptoms of COVID-19. “I couldn’t have direct contact my wife and children, and I couldn’t be with my Maynard guys.”

During his recovery, he checked in frequently with the staff at Maynard House to ensure that everyone was staying healthy and safe. He received a supportive email from the parents of the residents that boosted his spirits. The message: “If you or your family need anything, let us know. You take care of our kids, we’re going to take care of yours.”

Mory was thrilled when his follow-up COVID-19 test was negative and he was cleared to return to work. “I was so happy to see my guys again,” he says. “Maynard is a home for all of us.”