Island Senior: Coping With Coronavirus – Phase 2
Island Senior is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae…
It is summer in the San Juans and San Juan County has moved into Phase 2 of our state’s four-phased Safe Start Washington plan. What does this mean for island seniors as local businesses slowly begin to open up, the weather improves, and in spite of various bans still in place visitors inevitably arrive?
For us seniors, not much has changed. Seniors are still “strongly encouraged to stay home to the full extent possible”. The Mullis Center will continue to focus on facilitating the Meals on Wheels program and seniors are still advised to grocery shop early in the day, during senior hours, or arrange to pick-up supplies without going into stores.
With summer weather though, and more people out and about, I asked Brendan Cowan, Director of San Juan County Emergency Management and Dr. House of Eventide Health what advise they had for seniors. They both advised proceeding very cautiously and taking it slow.
If you’ve been hankering to get some professional grooming for yourself or your dog it is advised you give it a few weeks to give your professional groomers, or other professionals, a chance to adapt to their new requirements. Be patient, they are operating under new and strict limitations. While it is not recommended, if you must, be careful, wear a mask, and wash your hands.
One thing is clear, besides staying home; wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands remain our greatest tools for protecting our community and ourselves from the COVID-19 virus. Masks are required to enter any business in the county. It is how we keep our community safe.
Islanders typically meet challenges with creativity and resourcefulness. I asked Carrie Lacher if I could share with you a handy mask innovation for hiking around the island. Howie Rosenfeld tied “eyeglass holder” strings to each ear loop of their masks so that they can let the masks hang around their necks when not in use while keeping them handy should they encounter a fellow hiker. As for resourceful, Carrie made their masks with fabric Howie brought back from Thailand where he did malaria eradication with the Peace Corp in the 60s. That is some legacy fabric!
So while not much has changed for some of us as we enter phase 2 the good news is we have been successful so far in keeping our community safe. I leave you then with the words of Dr. House, “Stay positive. Be kind and enjoy some sun and fresh air.”