A senior perspective on COVID-19.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on seniors has been discussed widely. Most of the reporting is about this age group; like the Kaiser Foundation report that stated 8 of 10 people who suffered severe complications, including death, were in the over-65 population. Well, I’d like to share some thoughts by a senior. I expect some will resonate with your own feelings.
Family. COVID-19 has heightened the pangs of separation from loved ones. For some seniors, the forced separation has created a sense of urgency, reminding us of how much we depend on each other for emotional support. In my case, I took advantage of every opportunity to spend time with family and that resulted in our being together even more—fortune smiled. This has been especially so for the time I was able to spend with grandchildren. For this, I am grateful.
Connections. Isolation, as a precaution against infection, has resulted in our making better use of new methods of communication. Starting with our old friend the telephone, innovations based on the digital world have expanded exponentially. We now have smart devices in our hands and on our desks that can send a picture, words, and the sound of our voice anywhere in the world in real time.
In the last year, I have celebrated Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and a pregnancy announcement; participated in storytelling, stock-club meetings, and professional meetings; and attended lectures and participated in a book club using Zoom.
Social behavior. Making sure I have a mask with me has become a way of life. A year ago, it felt weird to wear a mask and now it is the opposite. Passing people in the hall and when stopping to talk, the mask seems to disappear. I am fine with bumping elbows, standing in the corner of the elevator, and lining up at the checkout at 6-feet intervals. I am not sure when I will go to a movie theater or a crowded sporting event again, but I had pretty much stopped anyway. I am convinced “an old dog can learn new tricks.”
Worry. I suppose you wouldn’t be a senior if you didn’t have something to worry about. I worry about all those whose livelihoods were affected by businesses closing and who may never recover. I worry about children who are unable to attend school and their parents who take on the responsibility of home-schooling and those who are deprived the opportunity to work outside the home. I worry about the college students forced to attend classes online and who must miss in-person graduation ceremonies.
Appreciation. Some things have been done particularly well in this time of COVID-19 and for these I am thankful. A year ago, the leading infectious disease expert predicted it would be as late as September 2021 before we had an effective vaccine. Now, in April 2021, a half year ahead, nearly half of the population and 75% of seniors are fully vaccinated. This effort led by the government reminds me of World War II when American grit was demonstrated.
Thanks. I am thankful for healthcare workers. My doctor, who I saw yesterday, when I asked him, said, “I was mostly an observer but on the frontline in the hospital they were in a war zone. Everyone was playing by ear and praying it worked.”
I am thankful for the unsung workers in retail stores and especially checkout personnel in the grocery stores.
During this past year I lost one friend. He was one of the first. You probably know more. I also have friends who have recovered, but at a great cost. Their lives will not be the same.
In many ways, life has changed for all. Just 100 years ago we experienced a pandemic that claimed 50 million lives. Today’s COVID-19 pandemic has claimed just over 3 million. Is the virus less virulent or are we better at fighting disease? Even if it is some of each, there is room for optimism.
So, let’s be optimistic, seniors!
By Savvy Senior
And some were inspired to write poetry.
Corona is going away
that’s the good news for today.
We’ve had all our shots and are ready to go
get back to normal and on with the show.
We still wear our masks but that’s OK
It won’t be long till we throw them away.
I love doctor Fauci – he tells the truth
This little poem is written by Ruth.
By Ruth Butler
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?