By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization
Along with your monthly additions to the senior center calendars – please look for those at the bottom, I wanted to reflect on the much-discussed Coronavirus as it relates to our work at your senior centers.
The first four cases of Coronavirus have been reported. Please make sure your only news source is a reputable one. www.cdc.gov is best.
We’re strongly encouraging members to wash their hands, stay home if they are sick and refrain from shaking hands or hugging when possible. It takes practice, but a variety of greetings, like putting your hand over your heart, or just a kind word, are making their way into every day practice.
Staff, have an abundance of caution and we remain vigilant with wiping down hard surfaces and paying extra attention to often handled items and locations. You will notice a few tables at lunch with less chairs for those who are trying to be conscious of proximity.
We are in discussions with the county and the state for pro-active plans, in many, many areas. You’ll hear a lot soon, as we talk about emergency planning and fire season. We’ll update you as soon as we know more, and you are always welcome to call or email us. Please don’t contact staff if they are not working, if it can wait until the next business day.
Common sense and kindness must prevail in our community. Here are simple things YOU can do to help. Make sure your paperwork, often called an assessment is up to date. That way, if you need a service from the center like transportation, etc., we are ready to serve on a moment’s notice. Unless you have a religious or medical reason not to get a flu shot, get one right away. The difference between the Coronavirus and the flu, is that you can be proactive.
As the Director, you may still see me give someone a hug. It has always been my philosophy that you never know what is going on in someone’s day. I encourage you not to approach someone with open arms, because that might make someone feel awkward to decline. When in doubt, ask first, because it is better to be safe than sorry.
We will still hold regular activities until data tells us otherwise. This Friday, both centers will celebrate Pi(e) Day. If you’d like to bring a pie for our contest, contact the director of each site. Those attending lunch will get a free ticket to vote for their favorite.
Beverly Simpson, the Los Alamos County Emergency Manager, will make presentations at both the BE and WR senior centers. Betty will host April 1 and White Rock April 2, both at 12:30 p.m. We will discuss the Emergency Registry, Code Red, wildfire season and perhaps entertain some Coronavirus questions. Her background and knowledge are astounding, so consider attending the talk.
At 12:30 p.m., April 2, we’ll be showing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. Adults play a huge role in encouraging children to read, come learn how. We will also hold a small raffle to win some books, so consider bringing a dollar to participate.
I thank you for your time. My staff works very hard and cares deeply for their seniors. We also could not exist without our wonderful volunteers and incredible volunteer program.