LETTER from CAROL LaCHANCE
To the Editor:
As social distancing becomes a new way of life, I am fearful.
I don’t fear the coronavirus, but I fear the social isolation it is creating among us, especially the older population.
We live in a village, with surrounding communities, whose median age is over 50 years old. Of this group, more than half are over the age of 65. There are many who live alone, with few or no family and friends close by.
Going to the Cooperstown Senior Community Center, Clark Sports Center, library, restaurants, etc. provided them with social outings and contact, but now those are closed, and we are all told to stay home.
I write to encourage all of us, young and old, to become more aware of our neighbors, especially those older, as well as the activity in and around their homes.
Are the curtains open every day, or the lights on in the evening? Has the newspaper or mail been removed from the front stoop? Would getting groceries or medicine be a challenge for your next door neighbor?
We cannot assume each person in our community is fine. As the time of social distancing lengthens beyond two weeks into months, depression and loneliness will become our enemy, most especially for those living alone.
If you fall into the more mature adult category, you have lived the majority of your life not asking for, or accepting, help. This is not the time to let your pride get in the way. If you need assistance, reach out to your neighbors or friends. If your neighbor reaches out to you, say “yes – thank you.”
In an effort to be in touch, an email with thoughts and activities will be sent to all who receive the Cooperstown Senior Community Center emails, Monday-Friday. If you wish to be a recipient, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org We will get your contact info and gladly add you to the list.
The coronavirus has provided each one of us an opportunity to rekindle what was once the way of life, “neighbor helping neighbor.” It’s what will keep us connected, safe, healthy and smiling – a caring community.
Acting CSCC Executive Director