by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities.
What can I say that has not already been said? There have been disastrous things that have happened since mid-March 2020, but there have also been some incredibly wonderful things that have happened. People, for the most part, are resilient and have adapted as best as they can to this new paradigm. In weekly client calls, our clients have been upbeat, positive and certainly understanding of our limitations on services. We at Senior Services have continued to deliver Meals on Wheels, now with some new volunteer drivers who stepped up to the plate early on. We have also moved on to a second tier of potential volunteers who had expressed an interest in helping out, and have started to do orientations and Meals on Wheels training for them. Knowing the safety guidelines we have instituted, people are eager to help.
Interacting on social media, I saw a post from someone asking what good has come out of this pandemic. Most of the answers were quite positive: more time spent with family, saving money on food, eating meals with family, more yard work done, more time for other interests like arts and crafts projects, and more focus on mental health. While I am certainly very tired of this situation, I can say that it has truly been a blessing to be able to spend time with my family both at home and via Zoom. We started doing weekly Zoom calls early on to stay in touch with relatives across the county, downstate, and even as far away as San Diego! And in calling clients, I learned that many of them had adult children either come to stay with them or moved them into their homes for the duration. And while I am so very thankful that my child is grown and living on his own, my heart goes out to people with school-aged children who had to be home-schooled during this time! I am not sure I would have had the patience for that.
All in all, I believe that most of us have done our best to make the most of a difficult situation, and have done it in an encouraging way – loving our neighbors, doing what we can for others, and staying positive!