It's just barely April and it has already been quite a long year, hasn't it? Every day, in fact every hour, the news seems to scream yet another statistic or warning about the current status of the world and all things COVID-19. I'm sure that you are all aware by now that we should be practicing social distancing guidelines, those outlined for us by our nation's lawmakers and experts, but also those common sense guidelines that have not been stated or enforced. It is our responsibility as good citizens, good friends and neighbors, and good humans, to abide by these guidelines. I trust that you all will.
Here are links to the CDC for the general coronavirus information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the Town of Simsbury's page listing pertinent information related to the program changes and cancellations due to COVID-19 https://www.simsbury-ct.gov/home/urgent-alerts/senior-center-programming-canceled-effective-march-13-2020.
Though this current situation finds us in a unique place, requiring the vast majority of us to stay behind closed doors for our own health and for the good of others, I have found little lights of hope and seen demonstrations of good will by some of our fellow SNN members and residents of our Farmington Valley community in general. I am not a Facebooker, but I am on Instagram and the NextDoor app for our local neighborhood and many neighbors are offering to go on grocery runs, prescription pick-ups, rides to the doctor, and more. Shari Cassutt and Brynn Brown are gathering materials and those with sewing skills to fabricate safety masks for medical personnel that are getting short on their supplies (for more information check out the Pop Ups section below). I also understand that approximately 1,000 nurses here in Connecticut have come out of retirement to assist in the COVID crisis. These selfless acts of giving and offering of help that I have witnessed remind me of what an incredible blessing it is to be part of a community such as ours. Trust me when I say that other parts of the U.S. are not like this. I was born and raised in the California Bay Area, have also lived in KCMO, and South Florida, and have traveled to and/or through 30 states and 1 U.S. territory! We truly have some big hearts around here!
Although it is safer to keep our distance right now, there are many ways to stay connected to one another without having to visit face to face. I am grateful that we are in a day and age where technology is so readily available and becoming easier and easier to use. There are countless apps that can keep us connected socially with video capabilities and photo sharing. Friends of mine have highly recommended apps like Calm for meditation and sleep, AllTrails for walking and hiking, or Yoga with Adriene. Maybe we can all take a moment to look up what the true meaning of those cute little emojis are too. Hopefully we're using them correctly! The youngsters in our lives can probably help us in that department. For the very young, we can share and sing along with the video for the new version of the famous Baby Shark song. The lyrics have been changed to Wash Your Hands, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo... You're welcome, for getting that song stuck in your head again. Ha, ha. ;)
Patty Howland has some fantastic ideas to explore and learn and has shared them with us in the Discover New England section below. Jane Fox has also passed along digital resources to access ebooks and audiobooks in her Book Group section as well. Thank you, Jane and Patty!
One last thought, if you find yourself taking some extra "me time", are not feeling very creative or productive right now, that's okay. If you're feeling stunned, down, anxious, or a bit lost, that's okay too. I'm not an expert, but I do believe those are completely normal reactions to what we are all going through, so don't beat yourself up about it. I highly recommend walking outdoors, even if only to retrieve the mail, at least once a day. I've added some extra Vitamin D and B-12 to my daily supplements to keep my energy up and to make up for the sunlight I used to absorb by spending more time outdoors. You may not feel like being creative, but maybe you can write a thank you card to an essential worker for their bravery and sacrifice in helping others, look for places to donate, read a new book, watch a new show, or even just eat a favorite snack! Personally, I would choose Häagen Dazs chocolate ice cream or Lay's BBQ potato chips. I know, I know, not very healthy, but they are delicious! Bottom line, taking care of yourself will look different for everyone. There will be bad days where you feel restless due to this quarantine, but there will also be many, many good days in our future and this won't last forever. We have some brilliant minds working on ways to overcome this ordeal. I wish you all good health, physically and mentally. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it!