When I decided to write an article about what our community was doing during this lockdown period, I said to myself, gee, being cooped up inside for nearly 2 months, (since March 13 to be exact) what could I write about. Well, I could write about how the lockdown affected my wife and I and then move on to how it has affected our community here at Beacon Terrace. With that in mind, allow me to share how we are coping.
As far as we are doing as a couple in isolation, we are doing our best to stretch and exercise at least 5-6 days out of the week. Must stay physically fit. I am back to doing Sudoku puzzles as well as reading more than I was. Even convinced my wife to start doing the Sudoku puzzles! As a matter of fact, I share the puzzle with my daughter and the three of us are in competition to see who finishes first. Need to stay mentally alert as well. We have been video calling our son and daughter several times a week so as to not feel cut off from everyone.
Once or twice a week I drive up to our mailbox (normally I would walk but the car needs exercise too so that the battery doesn’t die) to pick up the mail which I immediately bring home and faithfully follow all the guidelines about wiping it down and only bringing inside what needs to be brought in, throwing the envelopes, boxes, and what have you that the mail came in into the trash barrel.
As for our groceries, some things I have ordered through the mail while basic staples like bread, milk and such, our daughter gets at the store about every ten days to two weeks to make sure we have enough groceries on hand. Those also go through a thorough wipe down before entering the house with the bags and so forth going into the trash container kept outside.
Even though we do not go outside other than for a walk once or twice a day, we are constantly washing our hands and attempting to keep both our minds and bodies active.
I am not saying we are paranoid about this whole Coronavirus situation, but with both of us turning 80 and 82 later this year, who are we to take chances? I do not watch the news 24/7 which some people do, but I do know from the times I do check on it, that this is not a disease either of us want nor intend to become infected by, at least if we can avoid it.
Okay, so much about how we are handling being stuck in the house 24/7 for going on two months now. Let me now discuss how our community of 297 homes of which 70 percent of our residents are still here and have not gone north, are handling this “stay at home” order.
My wife and I teach line dancing here in the park. Our students are other residents who do it for fun and to have some easy form of physical exercise. An added benefit is that it helps take the mind off what all is going on outside our community and across the world.
Remember that old trick we used to do when we were kids – Rubbing our bellies while also rubbing our heads but rubbing the head one way and your belly the opposite way? Well, line dancing requires similar concentration. The mind must remember the steps to line dancing and get the message to the feet so that both are in coordination. Hence, line dancing keeps one fit both mentally and physically.
My wife and I are doing our best to stay indoors but we wanted to keep up our line dancing as well for both the physical and mental reasons just mentioned so while we practice in our front room several days a week, other members of the community (our students) did not allow this lockdown to stop them from dancing. A group of them meet several times a week and using alternative driveways while staying five to six feet apart, perform the line dances they know. Bottom line it is a win-win situation as not only are they staying fit both mentally and physically – they are providing free entertainment to their neighbors.
Another resident (also a line dancer) happened to see some small painted rocks while surfing the net and being of the artistic type and having some painting supplies on hand took to painting some small rocks which she subsequently placed on the path we have in an area of our park called the Nature Trail. Really brightens up the walk. Which while I am on the subject is a place where our residents can go to just to walk among nature and forget their troubles. At least it gets them out of the house for a short while. Plus, they get their Vitamin D in the form of sunshine.
One of our residents wanted to do something to acknowledge those individuals on the front lines of this pandemic – nurses, doctors, police, firemen, and so forth, but stay safe in the process. So, a group meeting was organized whereby everyone that attended stayed at least five feet away from each other and held up signs, prepared by the individuals in attendance, saying thank you for the service being provided by these essential individuals. A video was created and placed on Facebook showing these individuals how much Beacon Terrace residents appreciate their sacrifice.
Being a community that is quite active or was prior to this pandemic, several of our park members recently organized a “Free Hot Dog Day” for the members of the community. Individuals were instructed to drive their golf carts, walk to the clubhouse parking lot or drive up and receive a free hot dog. Just another way to let community members know Beacon Terrace community is still as active and friendly as we were before this pandemic.
We also have a group of volunteers who are ready, willing, and able to assist those senior members of our community should they need small jobs done around the house or need someone to run to the store or something. Neighbors caring for neighbors.
And then there are those that meet at one another’s house, and being properly spaced regarding their lounge chairs, pass the time chatting about this or that enabling each other to know that we are in this together.
Stay safe, stay well, and know that we are all in this together. As the saying goes – “This too shall pass!”