We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Are you going to stay open during this coronavirus pandemic? I have a maintenance contract with you and am worried what will happen if my central air breaks down this summer, last year was so hot.
Please believe me, I have thought long and hard about this situation. As you likely know, Governor Murphy issued a statewide Stay At Home Order, but identified specific businesses as “essential services.” Among the businesses deemed essential are home improvement/repair shops that perform HVAC and Plumbing services, as people need to have access to heat, air conditioning, and running water to maintain their health. Despite this, many HVAC companies have decided to shutter their businesses, choosing to keep their heads down and riding out the next few weeks relying on the coronavirus small business stimulus funding that was recently approved by Congress. I don’t blame them, but as concerned as I am with the well-being of my family and staff, I’ve decided to keep the doors of Berge HVACR open – while taking precautions – because I have always believed in supporting the community when it is most in need. Maybe it’s because my Dad was a mailman for 39 years and “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” or that I grew up listening to stories about my Grandfather – who was on the Ambulance corps and was the volunteer Fire Chief in Ridgefield, NJ for 30 years – getting up in the middle of the night to save strangers, I’ve always felt a commitment to the Whiting community. Besides, I didn’t start this business 20 years ago because I thought it would be easy.
Luckily the recent weather has been mostly moderate, so we haven’t been flooded with calls from customers with broken furnaces or residents whose central air conditioning won’t start up or blows warm air, but we all know that hot, humid weather is inevitable. If this season is anything like last summer, people won’t be able to survive staying in their homes without fully functioning air conditioning. We all need to be prepared, so start-ups will be scheduled for April as they are every year, and we are on call if you should encounter any HVAC issues.
We will be taking the following steps as precautions to keep our customers and employees safe:
We are pre-screening all the customers to see if any member of the household has been showing signs of sickness – fever, coughing, sneezing, etc.
The technicians will be required to wear masks and gloves.
We are requesting that the customers and technicians maintain a safe distance of 10 feet between them.
Technicians must disinfect their gloves prior to entering a home and also when they leave the premises.
Although we still have a great deal to learn about this terrible virus, we are hopeful that these steps will provide sufficient protection for both our customers and our staff. I’ve always believed that character is defined by the way people respond to extraordinarily challenging times like these, I trust that as a community Whiting will persevere and overcome this deadly disease.
I recently encountered some prudent words from Martin Luther written in 1527 entitled “Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague” – these thoughts were expressed as the world was facing the Black Death – and thought you might also find them enlightening:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it.
“I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.
“If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me and I have done what He has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.
“If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
- Martin Luther, “Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague,” Luther’s Works, Vol. 43: Devotional Writings II (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 43; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 43: 131-132.
I’m writing this on April 9th, 2020 – almost 500 years after this pronouncement was originally published - and as we head into what is projected to be the worst phase of this growing pandemic for New Jersey, I can’t imagine a more inspiring sentiment.
Please stay well, be kind to each other, and know that Berge HVACR will be here when you call upon us. Let’s let the social distancing ultimately bring us together as a community.