A Unique Easter for Boomers and Seniors Because of Sheltering

Physical Distancing is Giving Us a New Opportunity to Define the Easter Celebration

This is Life Under a New Normal…For Now

Passover is here, and Easter and Ramadan are fast approaching.  I didn’t think this was the appropriate time for a lengthy blog about the upcoming holiday, rather I wanted to talk about how we might adjust to our new way of living as it relates to this time of reflection and celebration, regardless of your religious preference.

This has always been a time of year when families get together to celebrate in their own special way the glories of the season.  It includes for many the religious content of assembly in places of worship; a good ol’ Easter egg hunt on the front lawn; hundreds of chocolate bunnies and eggs to be consumed by the little ones; fun times painting and dying eggs; a family gathering under the same roof at tables filled with wonderful food and beverage, etc.  The list can go on and on.

But this year is different in so many respects.   The  coronavirus has defined what we as citizens can and must do to protect ourselves from this deadly disease.  The foremost action that we’ve all been recommended, and in some cases forced, to observe is social and physical distancing and sheltering in place in our homes and dwellings.  Our society is simply not made for this detachment, and so we’re having difficulty not only adjusting to the new way of life (hopefully very temporary) but adjusting at this time of the Easter Season without the presence of family and friends.

The grief and anxiety we’re experiencing is almost like losing a loved one.  And for those of you who have indeed lost someone close, you have my true sympathies and condolences.   Right now, we feel loss of freedom, loss of control, loss of connections, loss of closeness, loss of financial security, and loss of normalcy due to our extended isolation.  Our routine and habits have been disrupted and we must restructure our thinking and daily activities.  

Your BoomerGal, along with another 2.5 million families throughout the United States with loved ones in a nursing care facility, will be completely isolated from parents, spouses, friends and others because we can’t gain entrance to visit.  Since the early March timeframe, every skilled nursing home in the United States has been mandated to close to non-essential personnel, meaning me and my BoomerGuy.  Normally I would take in a bunch of Easter decorations, offer up coffee and candies to the staff, bring in an assortment of food cooked at home specially for the folks, and laugh a lot and out loud.  Unfortunately, not this year.  

So what in the world do we do.  Well first off, I want to impress upon you we boomers and seniors are a resilient bunch.  We’ve been through too much in our respective lives not to be anything else!  I fully predict we will come out this with stronger relationships and a better outlook and perspective on what is important.   

But for now, and for the immediate future, we need to focus on our temporary reality and make it an exceptional time for ourselves, our family, our friends and our community.  

As always, I try to impart from my repertoire of things that are important, several helpful tips.  

  • Stay sheltered—unless it’s a trip to the grocery or pharmacy, it’s the absolute best thing you can do for your health and that of others;
  • Create a new routine—make your bed first thing in the morning, change the news station to one you haven’t watched before, read an enlightening fiction or non-fiction book, try a new recipe just for the heck of it, try out a new cocktail (in moderation please), try tai chi for a little exercise;
  • Social media—reach out to friends via Facebook, Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • AARP—they have a new program called Community Connections, designed specifically for us seniors to stay in touch with people from our community while we’re sheltering in place, AARP is simply the best;
  • Take a trip—not the physical kind, but on-line through Conde Nast where they feature a number of tours, for example, the 50 Most Beautiful Places in America—get ready to be astounded with the color imagery;
  • Get on Skype, or at least your phone and over-communicate with your immediate and extended family and tell them you love them, and listen to them telling you they love you back;
  • Prepare a delightful meal, even if it’s just for yourself—you may not have any ham on hand, but if you have eggs, I might recommend a compliment of deviled eggs as a traditional Easter faire;
  • The places of worship will be empty, so tune into your local or national religious services and observe remotely;
  • Take the weekend off from all your self-imposed household projects and just kick back and enjoy the presence of mother nature at its spring-time best, oh, but you could get off your butt and go take a walk outdoors.  Exhilarating!

Keep in mind, these may be difficult and unprecedented times, but they are not permanent.  

My BoomerGuy and I are wishing you and yours a glorious weekend and a way to celebrate ‘virtually’ all your Passover and Seders; Ramadan; and Good Friday and Easter celebratory events, even if it’s by yourself.  

Until our next blog early next week, stay healthy and safe.  

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