The great COVID-19 ‘Hibernation’ from a Positive Ageing Perspective
At Lord Somers Camp and Power House, we constantly credit our members as our distinguishing and very best asset. It goes without saying, this year has been an exceptionally challenging time for most. For our organisation, which is underpinned by opportunities to connect with one another and serve others, the pandemic has posed a genuine setback in our mission and disrupted the magic of LSC&PH which keeps so many of us involved.
Our Positively Aged members have filled us with pride this year in their willingness to roll with the punches and adapt to the obstacles of COVID-19 restrictions. A demographic which we might have expected to struggle with the barriers of lockdown has done a sensational job of staying connected. Fortnightly virtual “Luncheons” have allowed many such members to stay connected and even meant those in especially remote locations are getting more involved than before we got so comfortable with old mate, Zoom.
John Robert provides a brief and humble reflection on how our Positively Aged members have approached this tumultuous year.
The experiences of the older members of LSC&PH during this year’s lockdowns, we can only assume, are simply as diverse as the membership at large.
We have probably felt similar feelings to those of other age groups of members. We have missed seeing our friends and relatives, going out, travelling and generally doing what we normally do.
Most of us haven’t had to worry about losing employment as many of us are retired and are more or less reconciled to living on what we have managed to accumulate, or not.
But we have also probably missed out on attending to the ever-increasing needs of ‘body-maintenance’ that generally increases with age. On the other hand, we have had more time than we needed to walk the block or local parks or do some gardening and more cooking than usual.
Vulnerability to COVID-19 is heightened in aged people – so people in the PA group have probably been extra careful about avoiding normal gatherings, minimising visits to supermarkets, wearing masks, taking wide tracks away from joggers and those without masks during walks, etc.
We have not performed a comprehensive survey of experiences, so please excuse this very limited speculation on what this unprecedented event has all meant.
There have been some benefits, like having time for reflection on our own lives and the wider world and its problems, (including the US election circus). If we have been lucky enough to be internet-connected and reasonably competent, we have been better able than usual to explore subjects of interest as never before. For some, watching for the daily cases reports and watching or listening to the 200 days of COVID updates from the Premier and CMO has dominated daily routines.
Social contacts of PA members with other members have been limited by phone only for some, or for others by regular fortnightly Zoom meetings on Tuesdays around lunchtime. These have replaced the usual lunches at the Malvernvale Hotel on the third Tuesdays of each month from February to November. The great benefit of this has been to allow members outside the Melbourne ‘hot zone’ to ‘Zoom in’ to join us from regional Victoria and interstate.
So for 2021 we intend to resume the lunches at the hotel (restrictions permitting) on third Tuesdays, and we will maintain the Zoom meetings monthly on the first Tuesdays. We look forward to welcoming more regional and interstate members joining in on Tuesdays monthly next year.
John Robert (1962 Light Blue)