Island Senior: Still Coping With Coronavirus

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

Posted on May 16, 2020 at 7:23 am by

Categories: Health & Wellness, Island Senior, Lifestyle


  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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