Isolation forces us to adapt in more positive ways
Who would ever think government would direct us to “Stay Safe at Home?”
The change of pace for most seniors added some stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty. The coronavirus became the scourge and worry each day.
After a few weeks, we found ways to deal with the lack of contact, outside activities and boredom. Most of us accepted the challenge and focused on how to survive. Using our own emotional and psychological warfare, we pushed on. Our message is “We will get through this together!”
Once we realized we were not alone, we looked at new ways of connecting. Looking through address books, seniors sent notes to far-away friends and family. Others dialed up long-forgotten friends and renewed relationships. Technically suave seniors used Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, FaceTime and numerous email sites to maintain contacts.
Unable to meet over lunch, the Rotary Club of Indialantic used the Zoom platform to hold weekly meetings. Community groups connected with faces and sounds on conference call devices. Our grandchildren found school doors closed, but distance learning provided new challenges on how to learn. Parents, grandparents and virtual teachers furnished support.
In order to maintain good mental health, people vented by logging on to email sites, podcasts and media outlets. Blue Cross/Blue Shield offered a new emotional support service. The AARP Foundation recognized that social isolation affects nearly one in five older adults in the United States when there is no pandemic. Their Connect2Affect service offers a full range of connections.
Innovative services provided by local agencies, online therapists and help lines are offered without charge and some have a fee schedule. Always connect with licensed local providers.
After endless broadcast messages from government leaders in daily briefings, we found out how vulnerable and pre-disposed we are to the coronavirus. Turn off the news. Check out great National Geographic programs, watch a Hallmark movie, pray or meditate. You will begin to feel better in minutes.
Still feeling isolated? Take out a notebook and label it “My Blessings.” Start writing how you are blessed. I started a bound notebook labeled “Reflections on the Coronavirus.” As I look back at entries through the months, I recognize how blessed we are with first responders, medical people and essential services workers. I still wonder what we are going to do with all the toilet paper.