Most senior-related events in the town of Lyons have been either cancelled or changed due the efforts to controlling the outbreak of CODIV-19 (also known as coronavirus). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “older adults” and people with serious chronic medical conditions “are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness . . . Anyone over 60 and those with underlying health problems should try to avoid places with large crowds . . . (the) average age of death for people from coronavirus is 80. Average age of people who need medical attention is age 60.”
The method of serving the twice-weekly lunches in the Walt Self Senior Center, provided by Boulder County Area Agency on Aging (BCAAA), will now involve seniors reserving a lunch over the phone, and then stopping by the Senior Center to pick up the boxed lunch to eat at home. The doors at the Lyons Bistro will be closed to socializing. Call 303-441-1415 to order the lunch by 1 p.m. on Tuesday and/or Thursday and pick it up at the Senior Center at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday and/or Friday. The cost remains at $3.00 or whatever you can afford.
The Lyons Emergency & Assistance Program (LEAF) will keep the Food Bank open on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the basement of the Lyons Community Church. Volunteers take extra care to disinfect all surfaces and to remove items that increase the risk of infection. Everyone entering the pantry room is instructed to use hand sanitizer. Clients experiencing cold or flu symptoms should knock on the door and remain outside, and food will be passed out to them.
LEAF will continue the delivery of Meals on Wheels. In addition, in case of an illness (whether COVID-19 or otherwise), it will provide “five shelf-stable meals + snacks” kits to all clients. If LEAF’s meal supply from Longmont Meals on Wheels is temporarily disrupted, clients will get the kits. These meals cost $10 and LEAF is asking recipients or donors to help pay for their cost. If you or someone you know needs to be quarantined due to the virus, and you cannot provide food for yourself, contact FoodPantry@LeafLyons.org to be put on the delivery list.
Donations for the Pantry can be made at LeafLyons.org, or drop off items on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the lower level of the Lyons Community Church.
All Monday night church suppers and pot lucks have been cancelled until further notice.
All activities and gatherings of people in the Senior Center have been cancelled or altered. The Town of Lyons exercise program, which normally takes place in the Senior Center, will be moved outside. Seniors should meet at the Walt Self building basement, and the group will walk from there to one of the local parks, stopping for some stretching and other exercises before heading back. For class cancellation updates, please check your email each morning on exercise days. The watercolor class and the “Beginning Book Folding” class are on hold, and may be rescheduled in late April. Get on the email notice list to have the latest information: firstname.lastname@example.org. The good news is that the Town states that there should be no disruptions in electricity, water or internet service.
“Just plan on getting to all those things you’ve been putting off,” says Lisa Ramsey, Town of Lyons Recreation Organizer. “Binge watch your favorite shows, organize those photos, answer those emails, finally take down the Christmas tree. I know how much social interaction means to all of you and how hard it might be to not visit with friends. Please reach out to each other by phone and have nice long chats.”
The Community Dinner and Improv by Wide Spaces Community Initiative on March 19 is cancelled. The Lyons Regional Library has also cancelled its programs and events, including the speaker from Nepal and the book club. The building will be closed until at least March 29; messages can be left at 303-823-5165. The free movie shows and discussion groups offered by Loving Lyons Senior Group will also be cancelled for a month.
In April, the Senior Center will be celebrating its third year of the revival of the Center, along with bringing back the activities, programs, bus trips, crafts, and meals. The BCAAA will be celebrating its third year of bringing nutritious lunches two days a week to the Senior Center at low costs. The celebration parties have been postponed due to the precautionary measures to avoid CODIV-16 virus contamination. Contact LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com to get notification of the return of events and the parties.
Words to the wise: Don’t overreact, be prepared, and remain calm.
Cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Boulder and Larimer counties. It is easy to get blasted by myths on cures or fearful statements. You can find help through Boulder County. The Town of Lyons email list is also a good resource, and of course the aforementioned CDC.
It is a good idea to make sure your medication supplies are sufficient to get you through approximately one month. Also, if you live alone, it is helpful to choose a friend or relative and ask them to call you each day to make sure you are in good condition.
This may be a good time to do meditation, such as via the ancient Chinese slow moving exercise Tai Chi. Many older people find Qigong preferable because it often involves one single move repeated over and over, focusing on breathing. A third option is Yoga. These activities will calm your brain and help you sleep better. They also strengthen and stretch the body, and enhance balance.
When going outside or having contact with those who visit you, stay healthy by practicing good hygiene. Wash hands frequently and for a minimum of 20 seconds. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your door to use upon entering your home, including wiping your car keys and purse. If you must go out, practice social distancing, keeping three to six feet between yourself and others. Do not shake hands, but bump elbows instead. Don’t touch your face, as the virus is transmitted in droplets which are shared through contact. It can stay active on hard surfaces for a few days. If you feel ill, please stay home and reach out to your doctor for advice. Individual doctors do not have testing kits but can write you an order to get a test at a nearby central facility.
We can all check on our neighbors and friends by phone each day. If a friend you are checking on complains of symptoms consistent with COVID-19, do not go check on them in person. Instead, call a medical provider for instructions on what to do. If you or someone you are checking on is in serious distress, call 911