When things get tough, we can all pitch in. This is one of those times.
I was dressed at seven. It was time for Annie’s morning walk. A two-minute jaunt on the lawn with my dog was all the time I could spend outside without needing to have my temperature taken as a precaution before re-entering. There are more than a dozen doors leading out of the buildings, but the only admittance is through a single door. It allows just those authorized to enter, and then only if they have no fever. No friends or family are allowed, just care-givers and other essentials.
I fed Annie her breakfast. It was also lunch and dinner because she eats once a day. After that I headed to the front desk to pick up the morning papers, which I had agreed to deliver during this special time. As I arrived, Joe, a neighbor, came up to me saying, “I can do some.” We agreed to share the job. He would deliver the second and fourth floor and I would handle the first and third.
There are 44 apartments in the section where we live and about half the residents take one or more papers including the local daily, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Julie had put the apartment number on each paper. She was happy for this assistance since the staff was stretched to the limit.
Before Joe and I headed out to deliver we traded memories of our days as paper boys. In upstate New York he folded each paper in a neat square and tossed it onto the porch like a Frisbee. In Detroit we rolled and tucked the paper. I remembered how to do it and conducted a brief demonstration.
Reminiscing, Joe admitted that he wasn’t all that good at collecting. He said, “I collected enough to pay my bill”. I told him I did the same thing, adding that in 1946 customers thought $1.90 a month for the Free Press daily and Sunday was too much.
This is only my second day and already the woes of a newspaper boy have surfaced. Today I was one short for the Wall Street Journal, had an extra local paper and had to backtrack three times because I hadn’t arranged the numbers properly. One thing I recalled from the “old days” is that house numbering can be weird. I learned that in our buildings apartment 9 is not between 8 and 10. Instead 9 is between 14 and 7 on the third floor and 12 and 7 on the first. I think that is what they call “local knowledge”.
What is this all about? It is a lot of people doing small things to help in an emergency. COVID – 19 has changed our lives. Schools are closed, public gatherings cancelled, bars and restaurants shuttered, and doctors are only seeing patients with special needs.
Joe and I are delivering papers in our retirement community to free up a staff that continues to meet the ongoing chores of food preparation and delivery, cleaning, maintenance and administration.
We as seniors have two jobs. They are to follow the rules of hygiene and social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus, and to pitch in by doing small tasks while maintaining a positive attitude ourselves and supporting our neighbors.
By Savvy Senior
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