Island Senior: Still Coping With Coronavirus

Posted May 16, 2020 at 7:23 am by

Still Staying Home - Marsha McAllister photo

Island Senior is a reg­u­lar col­umn on the San Juan Island Update writ­ten by Peg­gy Sue McRae…

Its been a few months now of stay­ing home and stay­ing healthy, of wear­ing masks and gloves to the gro­cery store, of stay­ing six feet apart from friends we’d real­ly like to hug, of meet­ings on Zoom. How are you doing? Giv­en that we are deal­ing with iso­la­tion, fear of dead­ly con­t­a­m­i­na­tion, and eco­nom­ic uncer­tain­ty in the midst of a glob­al scale dis­as­ter it is not sur­pris­ing that many of us are expe­ri­enc­ing anxiety. 

In a recent inter­view Jon Lovett of Pod Save Amer­i­ca, asked psy­chol­o­gist Dr. Ali Mat­tu what advice he had for cop­ing with coro­n­avirus. Dr. Mat­tu observed that a lot of peo­ple are feel­ing help­less or stuck but he explained, what we are doing by stay­ing home, “is an incred­i­bly opti­mistic act.”

He said, “We’re not help­less. We’re tak­ing an action that says,‘You virus, you don’t move if we don’t move. So we’re just going to stay put here. We’re going to stop you by stay­ing put.’ This is an act of immense altru­ism, of glob­al co-oper­a­tion the kind of which I’ve nev­er seen.” By stay­ing home “You are tak­ing an action to stop this virus and save oth­er lives.”

Although we may be phys­i­cal­ly iso­lat­ed we are not alone. One way to feel con­nect­ed to oth­ers is to help out where and how you can. Get­ting reg­u­lar take-out from a favorite restau­rant may help that busi­ness sur­vive and if you are going for take-out, why not ask a neigh­bor if they would like you to pick up an order for them while you are out? Co-ordi­nat­ing nec­es­sary trips into town with friends can cut down on out­ings for those of us who are most vulnerable. 

If you can afford to, con­sid­er help­ing sup­port a favorite local busi­ness. This was sug­gest­ed by Janet Wright, “I make a month­ly dona­tion to Grif­fin Bay and Ernie’s” she said,“We need a plea to our res­i­dents to maybe donate for a cou­ple of months—or maybe more—doesn’t have to be much—$25, $50 or more.”  Thank you Janet!

Vic­to­ria Comp­ton of the San Juan Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil rec­om­mends, “All of us can sup­port our local busi­ness­es through things like and by call­ing or email­ing our most beloved busi­ness­es to see what we can do.”

If you have the time and the incli­na­tion to vol­un­teer call the Mullis Cen­ter (360.378.2677). The Mullis Cen­ter con­tin­ues to strive to meet the needs of island seniors who, espe­cial­ly now, may need meals or oth­er neces­si­ties deliv­ered to them.

The most impor­tant thing you can do though, is to keep stay­ing home. What you need to remem­ber about stay­ing home dur­ing this cri­sis is that you are not just keep­ing your couch warm. You are sav­ing lives! Hang in there my friends.

Link to: Islands Strong
Link to: Jon Lovett Inter­view with Dr. Ali Mat­tu: Tips For Cop­ing With Coronavirus

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  1. We can also pay our bar­bers, hair styl­ists, mas­sage ther­a­pists, baris­tas and oth­er peo­ple we see reg­u­lar­ly for their ser­vices for the appoint­ments we would have booked and the pur­chas­es we would have made had we been able to come in.

    Comment by David Bentley on May 16, 2020 at 11:05 am
  2. By sewing fab­ric masks (110 so far) most­ly for Peace Health non-patient care staff and patients who arrive with­out a mask, but also for friends and fam­i­ly, I feel that I’m doing some­thing to help, and I can do it from home, with only a few trips to the Post Office (wear­ing my mask, of course). It makes me feel real­ly good to pro­duce a pile of 30 masks… def­i­nite­ly takes the edge off loneliness.

    Comment by Robin Atkins on May 17, 2020 at 12:47 am

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