By Carolyn Kulik, Senior center director
In the past 14 days, have you:
- Returned to Vermont from China, Italy, Japan, or South Korea or Western Europe?
- Returned to Vermont from a domestic area where the infection rate is high, e.g. California, New York, Washington?
- Travelled on a plane, bus or train?
- Been in contact with a person infected with coronavirus/COVID-19?
- Been to a health care facility where people infected with novel coronavirus/ COVID-19 are treated? (hospital, walk-in clinic, emergency room)
- Had any of the following symptoms in the last few days: cough, high fever, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please consider quarantining yourself at home for 14 days and/or contacting your health provider for your own safety and that of others.
“The secrets are in the plants. To elicit them, you have to love them enough.”
~ George Washington Carver
“The green matter of plants . . . We propose to give the name of chlorophyll.”
~ Pierre Joseph Pelletier, 1817
Spring is just an idea in these parts, and my neighbors still have their snow shovels next to their front doors. But it will come, that is for sure – just not as soon as we may like. In the last issue, the quotes were about mystery. And now we are living in a mystery – of a different sort, unfortunately. The fog of uncertainty makes this health crisis even harder to weather.
As you probably know by now, because of the current coronavirus outbreak, the Charlotte Senior Center Board has decided to close the building and suspend all meals, courses, events and presentations until April 30. At that time, the Board will re-evaluate the situation.
Even though this was obviously the correct call, it was hard for everyone – since so many folks really depend on the meals, courses, and activities, as well as the many friendships that they have developed over the years. Updates will be posted on the website when they are available, and right now we are looking into the possibility of adding some videos of courses and presentations to the website. We are all aware that that is not a substitute for actually coming to the Center – and the video idea will not work for some – still, it is a work in progress.
The Spring Schedule had just got up and running – only to be stopped in its tracks. After all the hard work of planning and negotiating that went into its construction, it’s like inheriting the favorite vase of your grandmother’s—and then just as you are putting flowers into it for the first time, accidentally dropping it to have it smash into pieces.
The Wednesday talk on April 4, by Don Porter on “Ocean Currents, The Gulfstream and Sailboat Racing” had wonderful, animated visuals and was very informative and entertaining. As usual, the audience had plenty of questions, comments and shared their experiences. The following week, on April 11, Jody Crosby presented “Sign Language Explained!” to an attentive group which was introduced to the intriguing way signs are constructed for American Sign Language. Do you know the audiences at the Wednesday events are known for being informed and engaged?
Some of the six upended talks, set through April 29, will be moved to the summer months if presenters are available. It looks like this year we will miss the CCS Music Concert by the middle school’s Ukulele Band and Concert Choir led by Monica Littlefield originally for April 15. The remaining four events in May are still in place, but it is looking like they will likely have to be moved, as well. This is akin to juggling eggs while blindfolded.
The new, exciting Movie Classics Discussion Series comprised of four films with the theme of ‘happiness’ was supposed to start in April with its first two showings. Now, it will either begin in May, instead, or be rescheduled for the summer. Popcorn and homemade cookies will be included.
The March Art Exhibit showcased works from our friends at Wake Robin and included pieces in oil, watercolor, acrylics in both representational and abstract styles. The wide range of subject matter and styles made for some interesting viewing – and it is really unfortunate that it was cut short; plus, John Hammer so worked hard pulling to together and hanging it—with the expert assistance of Judy Tuttle. Perhaps the artwork will be back another month to make up for the lost display time.
Do visit our website, for more information about the Center and what is scheduled for May, tentatively. If you have questions, would like to register, or ask about volunteering – please call (802) 425-6345 and leave a message. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly when giving your name and phone number. You can also drop us a note at PO Box 207, Charlotte, VT 05445. Please note that the building is now closed to visitors until further notice.
The Senior Center’s mission is to serve those 50 and up. Residents from other communities are always welcome. There are no membership fees. Usually we are open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.
What can you do to manage in this crisis?
- Take walks. Observe everything carefully.
- Identify the things which bring you pleasure – and look for them.
(Clouds. Sunsets. Birds flying in formation.)
- Play or listen to your favorite music.
- Sing a lot.
- Establish a daily schedule and follow it.
- Keep a diary.
- Meditate. Or sit quietly – not thinking.
- After the toilet paper – stockpile chocolate.
- Buy flowers.
- Be careful. Stay well. But mostly, be kind.
Charlotte Senior Center. (802) 425-6345