Aging Well in the Gorge March 18th 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives across the globe: cancellations and closures, travel restrictions, layoffs or reduced hours, empty shelves and worse - deaths. It is a serious threat particularly for us older adults over 60. But we can do our part to protect ourselves and others by washing our hands often - Wet, Lather, Scrub (20 seconds), Rinse and Dry and by practicing social distancing: keeping three to six feet from each other. (Since I like to shake hands and offer hugs, I find that hard to do - and elbow bumps just don’t feel right. So, don’t be surprised if you see me do as the Japanese and bow when greeting you.)  

I won’t mention all the cancellations and closures, but Meals-on-Wheels is NOT serving meals at the Center this week but are making sure meals are delivered. And I’m not sure what they’re doing next week. The Center is working to stay open (which may have changed by the time you read this) by implementing several conditions: excluding anyone showing flu symptoms, limiting group activities to no more than sixteen, requiring anyone entering the Center to wash their hands or use sanitizer, reminding everyone to keep a safe distance, and sanitizing surfaces with disinfecting wipes or bleach water (4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water).

We’ve been around long enough to know that this too shall pass. But until it does, we need to do our part to reduce the severity of this pandemic. And if you have decided to self-isolate and hunker down at home, make sure you stay in touch with friends and family. And consider this. Why not catchup doing what is now a relic of the past – writing letters.

Have you been singing Happy Birthday twice while washing your hands and wondering “Who am I singing Happy Birthday to?” Or maybe you have mixed it up and chose the first verse of a different song: Gloria Gaynor’s” I Will Survive”? Hank William’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”? or the Temptations “I Can’t Get Next to You”? Email any song you would suggest singing.

You know it’s spring not because of the budding plants, the warmer days (with the occasional snow showers) or the longer evenings, but by seeing Bruce and Lori Harris driving around town in their Today’s Rays pickup getting sprinkler systems ready for spring. And once again I want to thank Bruce and Lori for donating their time servicing the Center’s irrigation system for the last many years.

After writing last week about scam phone calls, I received two – one asking me to press 1 for further information; and the other telling me I needed to call a certain number to avoid being charged for I’m not sure what. They were very convincing if I didn’t know any better.  

But there is some good news as reported on the AARP website. “Attorney General William Barr recently announced the largest-ever annual sweep of alleged fraudsters accused of targeting older Americans. More than 400 defendants have been charged in the past year, and they are purported to have been behind victim losses surpassing $1 billion. Barr also announced that preventing and disrupting transnational elder fraud is now one of the top priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice.” So, there is some hope. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The name given to the failed landing operation along the southwest coast of Cuba led by Cuban exiles opposed to the increasingly communist government of Fidel Castro was the Bay of Pigs. I received correct answers from Barbara Cadwell, Lana Tepfer, Cheri Brent and Sam Bilyeu who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Rhonda Spies

This may be a guy thing, but do you remember moistening a small piece of paper and blowing it throw a straw - a favorite way to disrupt the class by harassing a fellow student? Today you can even find a professional guide on the internet! For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name for this moistened piece of paper rolled into a ball? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with your favorite prank from your school days – that you are willing to admit!

Well, it’s been another week, looking for the silver lining in an old worn out jacket. Until we meet again, as they said in in England during WW II “Stay Calm and Keep Your Distance” – or something like that.

 “Introverts Unite – Separately.”  seen on Twitter

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