What’s Next? With COVID, That's a Big Question For Seniors.


“Head spinning off neck” is sometimes my response to the proverbial “how are you doing?”

My job as the CEO of a Home Care Agency requires me to stay “on top” of the COVID data, public health information, contact tracing, prevention, return to work criteria, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Although my issues may not be your challenge, you have your own.

There, of course, are the numbers, which don’t look good.  Schooling (from Pre-K to College and everything in between), remote working, child-care, medical issues that don’t take a ‘COVID holiday,’ and the ongoing battle ensues about: the MASK.  Heels digging in, virus spreading, Fall approaching, politics ramping up, outdoor activities…going where?  Head is starting to circulate slowly…

Control and order.

We all want it; we crave it and try to fashion our lives to make it so.  I’m not referring to the crazy over-the-top-Felix Unger-type order. Instead, we can exercise control by using our super-hero shields to deflect the chaos and toxicity around us.  We can bring a sense of stability and predictability to our work, homes, families, and lives. Empower yourself.

You don’t have to feel like a Fall leaf, blowing around by sources unknown.

And yet, many of us are feeling just that way.  We fall victim to powers beyond our control. School is ON…wait a day or so…now it’s OFF.  Going to college and coming home again.  Work remotely, the office is open, whoops the office is closed…and so it goes.  We’ve been flexible.  We’ve learned the actual meaning of the word…out of theory and into practice.  We have

developed new muscle, and it has not been without training aches and pains.

And now, we’re faced with what to do next.

The A/C units are out of the windows.  We may be lucky to have a warm Fall, but we go indoors more and more if not.  We’ll grab our sweatshirts, warm coats, and masks.  We’ll sit socially distanced by a firepit.  We’ll do the best we can while remaining vigilant and committed to taking precautions.  As the Fall progresses, we may go back to significant restrictions or schedule Thanksgiving on the deck, complete with propane heaters.  We have choices.

Looking at recent outbreaks across the state, especially the cluster outbreak at a Boston Hospital, reminds us that although invisible, COVID-19 exists and thrives in the right conditions.  What are those conditions?  Isn’t this a Godzilla that can’t be stopped? Can’t be managed? Will ravage us all?  No, no, and no.

Treatment options are few, but fortunately, most people recover (though some with ongoing issues). However, we know more now than we knew in March or April.

  • We know that the droplets that emerge with regular breath contain tiny invisible droplets which host COVID-19.
  • We know that “sustained unprotected close contact” puts us at risk.
  • We know that many carriers of COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning they feel perfectly well.
  • We know that they can test positive and can shed the virus.
  • We know that keeping distance, modifying our social, work, and commerce habits, adhering to strict sanitization, and caring for and using masks correctly reduces transmission of COVID-19.

We know what to do. That IS empowerment.

We know how the virus spreads, and we understand how to reduce that spread.  We know how to protect ourselves.  It is not a mystery.  We are not left in the dark.

The impact is indeed staggering; fear, anxiety, sadness, exhaustion, disbelief, anger, outrage, and through it all…our accommodation.  Changing our lives so substantially has been hard. We are all in the same storm, but often in very different boats.  Most boats are starting to take on a little water, but some are almost submerged, and the seas are kicking up…again.

How do we “get ready?”

Well, we are in storm-mode once again.  Take inventory of your family or business needs.  Plan ahead. How I’m managing my business’s needs:

  • Preparation.
  • Ordering ahead.
  • Re-educating staff and clients.
  • Communication…and then more communication.
  • Support.
  • Listen and Care.

At home, I am stocking up, staying fluid in all plans (in all sectors), and am getting my Flu Shot.  If I am well prepared for the “second surge,” in spirit, mind, and body, and it turns out not to be so bad, great! If it turns out to be as bad or worse than the first time around, I will use what I learned and prepared for.  If it’s somewhere in the middle, like most of life, there will be good days and bad days…like there were before, and like there will be again.

textile engineering, boston hospital, home care agency, felix unger