Activities and Advice

Appleton Farms, Hamilton, MA

Our editorial intuition proved to be correct when we decided to ask you, our dear readers, about your reactions to the current situation we are all facing and the premature shuttering of ski resorts and snow-sports related activities. In fact, we had more responses to the three questions we posed last week than any other article we’ve published in the six years has been around.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.  Here are some take-aways from taking a close look at your responses to a couple of questions.

When you look at Question 2: What outdoor activities are you doing these days?  we find some clear themes.

  • The top two activities you are engaging in are walking/hiking and biking.  Clearly our active senior group is selecting heart-rate-raising activities that keep you in shape. Those two activities combined represented 50 percent of responses. 
  • Yard work, house projects, and gardening followed. According to Tom K., “Hiking, yard cleanup and I may start a garden. I tried a garden 15 years ago and gave up because I never realized how much physical labor goes into a garden.”  Work it out, Tom. Tell us about those tomatoes when they come up.
  • There is a smaller group of readers who are also doing quiet things: reading, watching television, and researching.  Reader Larry McDonald has been looking back into the history of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.  Here’s his comment: “Historical research here in one of Colorado’s virus hotbeds, Gunnison. Must not have learned much from 1918, as Gunnison was an “escape community” back then with 0 deaths during the first two waves, and just a few during the 3rd deadly wave. Just google Gunnison flu 1918. Plenty of historic cemeteries and ghost towns around here to see the impact it had back then.” We did google that, Larry, and found that Gunnison escaped the worst of the flu through strict precautions. 
  • The remainder of activities you’re engaging in range from riding motorcycles and horses, to golfing, tennis, kayaking, playing music, fishing, prepping boats, and, yes, skiing.  There are a couple of folks who plan to continue to ski either by skinning up mountains or cross-country.
  • And just a few of you report you will be “working“. 

What About Advice?

As far as Question 3: What advice would you give seniors facing indefinite isolation?, your words of wisdom revolve around getting outside, staying in shape, staying connected and staying busy with a variety of tasks.

Some  comments were funny (“Binge eat”), therapeutic (“Gargle with saline solution”), or practical (“Make sure you have enough provisions”). 

Others reflected a sense of community. “Do what you can for others” came up often, including offering food, money, or just contact to others. 

One comment really struck us in its inherent kindness.

Reader Bob Ohrt said, “We are some of the most fortunate people in the world, share the blessings a bit more. There are those all around us, and there are about to be a lot more, living on the edge of making it by. Give what you can for others; give money, food, even just a smile. We have all been in tough places and somebody helped, pass it forward. It is our time, that is how a younger generation will learn to do the same.”

Indeed, it’s our time.  Thanks, readers,  for sharing your wisdom and kindness.

Sunday River, aerial view.

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