Hello Friends,

I tore up the first draft of this newsletter, as I couldn’t bring myself up to writing yet another reflection on Covid-19.  Instead, I thought about how the world looks at people my age (I’m 70) and how gross generalizations about our capacity can lead to unhealthy conclusions.

I never think of myself as old, yet I was forcibly reminded of that last month when I went to volunteer at my local food bank.  I’ve gone several times to that food bank in company with co-workers to bag food, etc.  This time, I went as an individual volunteer, and for the first time, was asked about my age.  Upon hearing that I’m 70 years old, I was politely thanked and refused.

Over the next several weeks, including now and I suspect in the future, I will be reminded that I belong to the vulnerable at-risk segment of the population.  On the basis of age alone, that might be true.  On the basis of other factors like physical fitness and endurance, that characterization is simply not correct for everyone in my age group and older.

There are plenty of us who refuse to be categorized as vulnerable.  We are healthy, good at taking precautions to stay that way, and desperately want to make a difference, especially now.  We volunteer in many different ways, from making cloth face masks to cooking for others and to connecting via phone or zoom to physically isolated people.  Thanks to many who are reading this newsletter, we have a volunteer army of individuals who write cards to shut-ins, recipients of meals-on-wheels, and other seniors who have even more limited means of connecting with others.  (By the way, if you’re interested in joining our volunteer army, just let me know.  We would love to have you!)

I don’t minimize the risk that truly vulnerable seniors face.  Beyond the physical risks is the mental and emotional toll that they have endured through sheltering-in-place.  A recent article in Forbes Magazine brings this point home.  You may check out the full article HERE.

As always, be well and stay safe!

All my best,