Barbara Fradkin – Special to FLORIDA TODAY
Reader Question: What will normal life look like after COVID?
Answer: This is a great question, with really no right answers. We have to ask ourselves, what is normal now? We have all been on an emotional roller-coaster for the past year and reengaging is going to be tough for many of us. Some people will instantly be out in public, shopping, eating in restaurants and fully comfortable in public spaces. Others may think, “Are these people crazy?”
We have changed over the past year. We have reexamined our values and beliefs. We learned to focus on the things we can control –and let the rest go. We rediscovered what was really important in our lives.
Many of us have learned compassion. We understand that others had experienced similar risks, fears and sometimes, loss. We have kept up with the evolving guidance and understand the need to wear our masks to protect ourselves and others.
One Senior Place has been open throughout the pandemic, because we exist to serve seniors. We helped register many seniors for vaccinations and our private duty services have remained busy — because care is still needed.
For our programs, we measure out six feet between chairs, disinfect surface areas and have gone through lots of soap and hand sanitizer. Since my face is covered with a mask, I have learned to speak with my eyes. I have learned how to do ZOOM events and consultations by phone, reassuring people that we will get through this, safely and conscientiously. We are once again having fun and learning at the same time.
But we all need to re-enter society on our own terms. If you need to go slowly –so be it! Give yourself a break and show yourself the same compassion you have reserved for others. Take heart that more people are getting vaccinated every day!
If you’re ready to dip a toe in the water, One Senior Place is planning a series of free ‘Welcome Back’ events the week of May 11-14th. These will be outside in the fresh spring air, where you can enjoy the camaraderie of others under our big tent, masked and socially distanced. Did I mention free food?
All kidding aside, “normal” life may not look the same for a while still. When coming out of isolation, start small and give yourself permission to retreat as needed. We will still be here when you are ready. Stop by and say “Hi.” Or call me, I love to talk! I promise I won’t mention hurricane season!
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.
Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.