The most vulnerable in our population to the coronavirus are those who have other health issues and the elderly. Many senior citizens check both boxes.
So extra precautions are being taken to prevent those living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement centers from contracting the illness. We applaud the efforts of all those who are going to extraordinary measures to protect this part of our population.
We've all read the Center for Disease Control's recommendations: hand-washing, social distancing, staying home if you are sick, and so on. The CDC's recommendations for senior communities are the same, plus isolation: Keep all visitors out, keep residents in their rooms, no communal activities.
This can be hard on seniors, so let's be creative in how we reach them during this extraordinary time.
Frequent phone calls are extremely valuable, except for the hard of hearing. Texting or posting messages often can help. Especially useful are FaceTime or Skype where the senior can see your face.
Delivering "care packages" can be tricky, because we don't want the virus to be transmitted on a hard surface. However, sending them by mail or other means is said to be better than delivering in person, because the day or two in transit permits the virus to die.
Here's another bold idea: personal letters. Long-lost in the era of texts, emails and posts, letters have a personal quality that many people appreciate, such as handwriting. The CDC states the likelihood of the virus lingering on mail is very low.
Let's try to help the seniors by whatever method works for them. We can all be great helpers to them during this time.
-- Jon M. Hunter