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News of Otsego County

social isolation

STERNBERG: Rotary Edges Toward In Person Meetings
LETTER from RICHARD STERNBERG

Rotary Edges Toward
In Person Meetings

erna
Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

There comes a time in the history of an epidemic when the risk of discomfort, disability and death begins to be outweighed by the risks of continued isolation and continued restrictions on normal societal behavior.

If we can stay the course on the rate of vaccinations that we’ve seen lately since the mega-sites opened, we can soon reach that point. The CDC has indicated that if all the individuals in a space have been fully vaccinated, they can congregate in small groups and without masks with very low risk of illness.

This also assumes we are beginning to reach a level of herd immunity so that the risk of a person who is infected coming into contact with a person who has no protection is decreased solely by the numbers of safe people around them.

The CDC has recently changed its guideline regarding distance that schoolchildren must stay apart. It is been reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet somewhat with the comment that the extra 3 feet doesn’t really matter much. It doesn’t mean that there’s a decreased risk of communicability, it just means that the distance between masked children may be decreased.

There is also a consideration of increased damage to the population from the isolation of individuals from normal society.

LaCHANCE: Rotary Helps Fight Social Isolation
LETTER from CAROLE LaCHANCE

Rotary Helps Fight Social Isolation

Rotarians Katherine Dina, right, and Cathy Raddatz, left, flank the first ultrafine air filter donated by Cooperstown Rotary to the village’s Senior Community Center. Others, in back, from left, are Bev Hence, Rae Consigli, Christine McNaughton, Patricia Dilorenzo, Betty McNeil and Marti Jax. Front, from left, are Sue Straub, Enid Hinkes, Carole Lachance and Linda (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

To the Editor:

Social isolation among seniors is a reality that has become an even greater concern since the onset of COVID-19.

To minimize its effects on our older population, Cooperstown Senior Community Center, CSCC, took full advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures summer and early autumn provided.

Seniors, living in and outside of Cooperstown, have been gathering 1 – 3 p.m. Thursdays since the end of July on the lawn and parking lot of St. Mary’s at 31 Elm St.

Hand sanitizing, mask wearing and maintaining distance while outdoors provided the safe and healthy social environment much needed by seniors during this time of uncertainty.

Now thanks to the warm generosity of the Rotary Club of Cooperstown, the arrival of colder weather has not brought CSCC gatherings to an end.

Rotary President Richard Sternberg, members Cathy Raddatz and Katherine Dina received $4,000 from two grants they wrote on behalf of CSCC. This grant money has purchased three Healthway Intellipure air purifiers which utilize the ultrafine 468 air filters strongly recommended by Governor Cuomo for use in schools and hospitals.

These air purifiers, along with other precautions, create a safe and healthy environment inside the large brick building behind St. Mary’s where seniors now meet. We are so grateful to Rotary for this generous donation.

On behalf of the many who enjoy coming to CSCC, I thank Rotary Club of Cooperstown for its service and commitment to addressing the needs of our seniors within the community, as well as surrounding areas.

Carole L. LaChance
Acting CSCC Executive Director

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