If it’s Thursday, this must be Mishawaka.

While most of the ADEC day center staff is focused on its own assigned buildings, therapy program manager Christy Irwin has logged plenty of miles this week between her team’s designated spaces in ADEC facilities all over Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties.

Having a cup of coffee and a spray bottle of disinfectant sitting beside her laptop seems fitting. There is a lot of dust from two months of inactivity but, after it settles, ADEC will be good to go and that leaves Irwin smiling with joy from behind her dust mask.

“If you were in an administrative space during the whole pandemic when everything was shut down, it was so still,” Irwin recalled of her desk work from ADEC’s main offices. “There wasn’t a lot of life. I’m thankful for telehealth but all we could do was a fraction of our offerings remotely from an empty building. Now, life is coming back into ADEC. We’re here in the day centers. We’re cleaning. We’re getting ready. There’s a new energy in the air because hope has been restored.”

While Irwin’s section of each facility is just a corner or side room off of a larger open space, it is one that inevitably needs reworking to match ADEC’s extensive coronavirus prevention plans. Tape measure in hand, she has to figure out if there’s enough real estate for items ranging from keyboards to medicine balls while also keeping a safe distance between the therapist and client. Like any reopening agency space, it also needs to be dusted, vacuumed, sprayed down, sanitized and inventoried.

Irwin has been encouraged by her progress this week since day center managerial staff returned on Monday morning. Mishawaka was not Irwin’s first stop on the tour and there are still other buildings to tackle over the coming days. She likes the progress she has seen though and is excited simply to be doing it.

“It’s going well and I feel good about it,” Irwin said. “I think the great thing is that when all of this is said and done and we open up on June 1st, we’re starting with a clean slate.

“We’ve just been waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. We were glued to the 2:30 briefings by Governor Holcomb wondering ‘what’s going to happen today? What are the numbers doing?’ Now, I feel like, while it’s probably not going to be like it was before for a while, life is coming back and so is ADEC.”

The annual Indianapolis 500 won’t be running the weekend but, three weeks after Governor Holcomb and ADEC’s dual May 1st declarations to figuratively start your engines, things remain on pace to see the green flag drop on June 1st.