Isolation: How Do We Handle it?

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Mar 16 3:54pm

As boundaries are being mandated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, these boundaries are affecting every area of our lives. Many hospitals, assisted living facilities, places of worship, libraries, restaurants, community centers are being closed to visitors and public gatherings. For many of us, these keep us from our typical ways of connecting with others and engaging with a supportive community.

What are you doing to keep yourself connected?

@joyces

You and I bought places we intended to live in, but our area is so handy to Salem and the valley that people buy houses here with no plan to use them, now or later, just rent them nightly through one of the rental agencies in town. People have to make a bit of an effort to get to your town as it's not right at the end of the highway from a metro area. Ours is. When I bought this place almost 60 years ago, I had no idea that someday at least a quarter of the houses in my community would be nightly rentals. I thought that all the hundreds of acres of old growth spruce forest and some second growth alder forest would always be here. How stupid I was!

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jOYCES/ wELL i LIVE A BLOCK FROM THE PPOASTOFFICE IN pACIFIC cITY. wE MOVED HERE IN 87. i GOT DRESSED UP AND ENTERED THE dOD]RY pARADE AND WON FIRST PLACE IN THE CHILDRENS ENTRUY. cLOWN ON A BICYCLE. i EITHERE ENTERED RO DIRECTED THE PARADE FOR ABOUT SIX YEARS. iF YOU READ THE BOOK YOU WILL SEE WHAT ELSE i DID FOR THE TOWN. i HELD MEEDINGINGS AT MY HOOUSE, VOLUNTEERED FOR THE cHAMBER OF COMMERCE i WORKED AND sAFEWAY BOTH tILLAMOOK AND lINCOLN CITY. i HAV E LOT OF HISTORICAL STUFF IN THE BOOOK THAT o DOD/ {ERJA[S UPI EVEM LMPW ,E/ mPT DPOMG AS MUCH AS i DID IN THE PAST . i AM NOW 897/ TALES A ;OTT;E PIT PF ,E! mAMCU

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@joyces

As to isolation, for some of us, this time isn't terribly different. In Oregon, our Gov acted early and proactively to close everything that isn't essential. Perhaps the most difficult thing is that this state has laws to prevent drivers from filling their own cars, but the Gov has suspended that law, enabling service stations to be self-service–without any explanation of how to fill your car if, like me, you've driven here all your life!

Although I'm 77, I still have a design and marketing business from my home office, but all jobs have always been done remotely, with brief client meetings to discuss ideas and proofs of finished work. The sport fishing industry will take a long time to recover, so I have none of that work right now. I'm still doing the same volunteer work, which has never involved many other people, but means driving, loading and unloading generally totally alone. I still do fish surveys, which, again, means driving for hours and then hiking miles–by myself with my dog for a companion. I e-mail the results, and receive e-mailed results of other surveys by other volunteers for our project, but there's never been much of any contact between volunteers…no annual meetings or picnics, just e-mailed reports of results.

Big changes are no monthly fly fishing club (one of the few things my husband was willing to go out for) and the weekly lecture series we used to attend during fall and winter months. Winter term ended two weeks early when Oregon shut down, so there was a flurry of rescheduling lectures for what we hope will be a Fall term…but, as Curriculum Dir., I haven't scheduled the remainder of Fall Term because it could be an exercise in futility. If things have opened up and look positive by July, we'll knuckle down and schedule the 12 weeks of Fall Term then.

Our home has no nearby neighbors, although the same people walk our road for exercise most days, but those interactions are the same, a "hello" from my position bent over tending flower beds to someone walking past with little conversation. We hardly ever have visitors, although, gasp, we had two after the first of the year, a veritable flood! The one thing I really miss is the library: due to Meniere's going bilateral almost a year ago, I'm now virtually deaf most days, so I had been checking out several books each week to take the place of phone calls, TV, radio, a few words here 'n there with my spouse. We own thousands of books, so I'm re-reading some of those. In addition to our own acreage, there's over 200 acres of undeveloped forest adjacent our place, so I have plenty of places to walk by myself…as usual. There's also more yard/outside work here than I'll every be able to do, so I can pick and choose each day.

So, for some us, other than loss of income that we don't actually NEED, life hasn't changed a whole lot. I can only imagine how dreadful it would be to live in a dense complex where there is no wild place nearby, where you are really stuck inside. That would be a nearly impossible situation for me!

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Joyce, Good to hear you all are maintaining! As you know we are in the same type of business as in the sales and marketing, except I do golf. Unfortunately our governor closed down all of our courses, unlike yours I believe left them open. One of my vendore is headquatered in Canby.
As you know Spring is our Big Time of the year so it's very frustating! New Mexico finally decided to give Self Employed people Unemployement Insurance, but as goes with a "Third World State" they messed it up.
The media and citezens are up in arms, so they're going to try it again.
Quick question! What do you sell? Caps, shirts or hard goods.
Thanks,
Richard

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I really dont go anywhere. I have for many years now have just go to work and then home, i dont feel comfortable out in public around alot of people. Thats a little weird for me, because i loved being out in public around people. I was an extrovert and now im completely opposite, but i have internet and alot of devices to keep me connected.

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Do you think we have different times in our lives?

One when we are active: working, raising children president of an organization, chair of a committee, member of church group or PTA… board member of a senior center….knitting group, card club or?

Do we become more family centered, babysitters?

As we age, what do we do differently? What do we do for ourselves!

I went back to college. What! :My husband asked me “Why?”

“I am going!”
I told him that I wanted to study myself👵🏻And earned a Master’s in Gerontology.

The $$$$!!! Said my husband. I said
“I AM GOING.”I received a grant.. one designed for seniors returning to school!
The director of the Gerontology Dept. had special grants for SENIORS!!

The program was multi-generational.
This program changed my life!

Addendum: while I was perusing the bulletin board at that
College, a professor in the counseling program asked me to consider his program!

Seniors, there are programs that many of us do know
Keep your eyes open!
What have you always wanted to do?
Do it!

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@tmvickery

I really dont go anywhere. I have for many years now have just go to work and then home, i dont feel comfortable out in public around alot of people. Thats a little weird for me, because i loved being out in public around people. I was an extrovert and now im completely opposite, but i have internet and alot of devices to keep me connected.

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Dear TM, would you like to receive a phone call from your senior center?
Our senior center does not call, but I heard about a center that has ‘friendly callers’. They will call you to chat once a week or when you want. They do not visit unless you want them.

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@helenfrances Hi Ellen here at Cal State in Long Beach have a senior college called OLLIE they have a lot of senior programs you can take just for your own knowledge from Arts, ,music,, health programs and much more . This is just to increase your knowledge of something already known .

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@helenfrances I definitely believe we have different stages in our lives. My Mom was a master at the transitions – she called them "chapters" and charted her own path to her very last breath, as did her sister, who was also one of her best friends.

Until Covid-19 hit, I would say I thought I was on my own best path, travelling with my husband and friends, spending time volunteering, with family and friends, and pursuing numerous hobbies and pursuits after dealing with a number of health challenges.

But these last few days, I am struggling. Staying at home and away from other people, especially my beloved daughters and grandsons, is so painful right now I can hardly bear it. The matter of not knowing how long we will have to do it, but knowing my lungs and my husband's health put us at high risk, is very frustrating.

So I try to remain connected and productive, make sure we are eating healthy foods, get in some walking every day, and try to be calm and patient. Maybe someday, I can look back and call this the "Covid Chapter" of my life.

I wonder how many others will feel their lives have permanently cahnges after this interlude?
Sue

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There are times we worry about something that….
Never happens!!
I plead Guilty🤫

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@sueinmn

@helenfrances I definitely believe we have different stages in our lives. My Mom was a master at the transitions – she called them "chapters" and charted her own path to her very last breath, as did her sister, who was also one of her best friends.

Until Covid-19 hit, I would say I thought I was on my own best path, travelling with my husband and friends, spending time volunteering, with family and friends, and pursuing numerous hobbies and pursuits after dealing with a number of health challenges.

But these last few days, I am struggling. Staying at home and away from other people, especially my beloved daughters and grandsons, is so painful right now I can hardly bear it. The matter of not knowing how long we will have to do it, but knowing my lungs and my husband's health put us at high risk, is very frustrating.

So I try to remain connected and productive, make sure we are eating healthy foods, get in some walking every day, and try to be calm and patient. Maybe someday, I can look back and call this the "Covid Chapter" of my life.

I wonder how many others will feel their lives have permanently cahnges after this interlude?
Sue

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@sueinmn I love the idea you shared about life's transitions being like chapters. It's especially good when we realize that we have a way to help write those chapters through our attitudes and our actions!

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@sueinmn

@helenfrances I definitely believe we have different stages in our lives. My Mom was a master at the transitions – she called them "chapters" and charted her own path to her very last breath, as did her sister, who was also one of her best friends.

Until Covid-19 hit, I would say I thought I was on my own best path, travelling with my husband and friends, spending time volunteering, with family and friends, and pursuing numerous hobbies and pursuits after dealing with a number of health challenges.

But these last few days, I am struggling. Staying at home and away from other people, especially my beloved daughters and grandsons, is so painful right now I can hardly bear it. The matter of not knowing how long we will have to do it, but knowing my lungs and my husband's health put us at high risk, is very frustrating.

So I try to remain connected and productive, make sure we are eating healthy foods, get in some walking every day, and try to be calm and patient. Maybe someday, I can look back and call this the "Covid Chapter" of my life.

I wonder how many others will feel their lives have permanently cahnges after this interlude?
Sue

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In response to Sue, Volunteer Mentor: For some of us, there has been almost no change. We live on acreage, near a very small town. My husband really doesn't like having people visit, so I seldom invite someone to do so, and he hates to go any where. We usually attend monthly meetings of the local fly fishing club, which isn't happening now, but that's the only big difference. Although we're pretty isolated, lots of people walk our road every day as it's sheltered from beach wind. I know more people here than I ever did when we lived in the metro area a couple of hours away. Even though I owned that house for nearly 40 years, I never knew the people who lived across the street, barely knew the people next door. Here, I see people every day who stop to comment on our yard as they walk past, talk about local things. A year ago, I had a 14-yard truckload of topsoil delivered, but they weren't able to dump it where I needed it so it was at the edge of the one-lane gravel road. I was out shoveling dirt in my contractor's wheelbarrow every day to move it. One day my primary doc walked past with her German shepherd…and stopped to help me shovel for a half hour. She often commented on how nice the flowers looked once all the dirt was in place and everything planted. How many places could you live where your doctor would stop and grab a shovel?

An even smaller town near us quickly raised tens of thousands to hand out to individuals who hadn't yet received unemployment or any other sort of aid. (This coastal area relies 100% on tourism and all nightly rentals are shut, so almost everyone is out of work.) When the little town saw how many people were benefitting from individual aid, they announced they were setting up a fund for small businesses. They received, gasp, $400,000 in donations the first day!

I volunteer for our Backpack for Kids program and am well aware of how many people in this little town volunteer money and effort to help others. I believe that we're far more sheltered in this beautiful rural area, that most of the people here are truly generous and always willing to help others. Perhaps the really big changes have been in the heavily populated metropolitan areas.

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@tmvickery

I really dont go anywhere. I have for many years now have just go to work and then home, i dont feel comfortable out in public around alot of people. Thats a little weird for me, because i loved being out in public around people. I was an extrovert and now im completely opposite, but i have internet and alot of devices to keep me connected.

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Hello @tmvickery,

That is an interesting observation you have made about the changes you have noticed in yourself. While you do not mention any health problems, sometimes changes in our personality can be related to physical and/or emotional problems.

Have you ever discussed this personality change with your doctor?

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@helenfrances

There are times we worry about something that….
Never happens!!
I plead Guilty🤫

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@helenfrances You are so right. Even sometimes we start worrying about something that is coming up, but when it does there was no need to worry about it. I plead guilty too. Leaving for Mayo today. Pre-op test tomorrow. I get a little and anxious, once we are at the hotel I will be fine. I can handle all of the test, and there's lots of them, but there's no need to worry all will be fine.

Liked by fiesty76

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@helenfrances

Do you think we have different times in our lives?

One when we are active: working, raising children president of an organization, chair of a committee, member of church group or PTA… board member of a senior center….knitting group, card club or?

Do we become more family centered, babysitters?

As we age, what do we do differently? What do we do for ourselves!

I went back to college. What! :My husband asked me “Why?”

“I am going!”
I told him that I wanted to study myself👵🏻And earned a Master’s in Gerontology.

The $$$$!!! Said my husband. I said
“I AM GOING.”I received a grant.. one designed for seniors returning to school!
The director of the Gerontology Dept. had special grants for SENIORS!!

The program was multi-generational.
This program changed my life!

Addendum: while I was perusing the bulletin board at that
College, a professor in the counseling program asked me to consider his program!

Seniors, there are programs that many of us do know
Keep your eyes open!
What have you always wanted to do?
Do it!

Jump to this post

@helenfrances I am so proud of you. What an accomplishment!! You must be very intelligent. I went back to school in my 40's, but only got my Certified Medical Assistant Degree. It was for only 9 months. Since I like animals so much I wish I had gone for an Animal assistant. But really you are amazing! Glad you didn't listen to your husband. Mine likes control my life sometimes. He's been very protective, since I'm up for surgery that I will get the Covid-19. Bless you for what you did and I hope you are very proud of yourself. My thoughts are with you as you continue to study. Jeanie

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@lilypaws

@helenfrances You are so right. Even sometimes we start worrying about something that is coming up, but when it does there was no need to worry about it. I plead guilty too. Leaving for Mayo today. Pre-op test tomorrow. I get a little and anxious, once we are at the hotel I will be fine. I can handle all of the test, and there's lots of them, but there's no need to worry all will be fine.

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@lilypaws It is only naturel to be a little anxious about going for the testing but no worries you will be fine we are all pulling for you . Just relax Let us know when you can . take care Linda

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