Aging Well in the Gorge March 4th 2020


You can’t turn on the television or the radio without hearing about the new coronavirus - officially called COVID-19. It’s particularly scary not knowing how far the virus will eventually spread in the U.S. My daughter was so worried she cancelled her flight from San Diego to San Jose to see a K-pop concert - and that’s a big deal for her!

From what I understand there is still much that’s not understood about COVID-19: how lethal it is (it could be twenty times more than the seasonal flu), how many will be infected (because the seasonal flu infects millions, it kills hundreds of thousands around the world each year even though it’s much less lethal than COVID-19), what groups are more affected, and how it spreads (it seems to spread easily).

Although there is the possibility of transmitting COVID-19 by contacting infected objects, it’s spread mainly from person-to-person through the respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

So, what is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19? I’m sure you know the answer. Washing your hands! But I learned it’s NOT how I wash my hands.  

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should follow these five steps. 

1. WET your hands with running water and apply soap. Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from your skin.

2. LATHER your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from your skin. 

3. Now this is the toughest step for me. SCRUB your hands for at least 20 seconds. For me that seems like an eternity. But if you aren’t sure how long, hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice. (I can imagine walking into the men’s restroom and discovering a barbershop quartet singing “Happy Birthday” in four part harmony while scrubbing their hands.)

4. RINSE your hands well under running water. Soap and friction help lift dirt, grease, and disease-causing germs from your skin so they can then be rinsed off your hands.

5. DRY your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol - but you should still rub your hands for twenty seconds!

Public health officials and medical providers are working hard to prevent the worse from the COVID-19 threat. And you can do your part by developing the habit of washing your hands - the right way. It will help you stay healthy now and particularly during the next flu season.

Kerry Cobb’s presentation at the Center on Tuesday March 10th is “Understanding Poetry”. You will read and discuss a variety of timely thought-provoking poems written by master poets. You'll look at poetic message, meaning, and relevance as experienced through the work of artistic poet expression.

The need for home delivered meals has skyrocketed in the last three years from 100 to 140 meals a day. With the increased need, Denise Patton, Director of Meals-on-Wheels, may have to establish another route which means adding more drivers when it’s already difficult to find the volunteer drivers for the current routes. If you have time between 11:00 and 12:30 one day a week, please consider volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels.

The name of the superhero cartoon character popular since the 30’s was “Popeye the Sailorman”. I received correct answers from Cheri Brent, Mary Ann Hass, Sandy Haechrel, Julie Carter (who mentioned we can’t forget Olive Oyl, Wimpy and Sweet Pea), Barbara Cadwell, Kim Birge, Dave Lutgens, Lana Tepfer, John Huteson, Jerry Phillips, Rhonda Spies and Patty Burnet from Moro this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month so it’s time for “Businesses That Were”. For this week’s two part “Remember When” question, what business was first located where Montira’s Thai Cuisine is now; and what popular restaurant use to be in the building Momma Jane’s now occupies? Email your answers to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a frozen pancake.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping an eye on what’s possible. Until we meet again, don’t forget to sing “Happy Birthday” - twice.

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” Will Durant, historian


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