If you’re a senior, you are much more likely to die if you get Coronavirus. According to Stat, analyzing the 72,314 Chinese who first contracted the disease, the fatality rates by age are:
- 2.3% — average of all confirmed cases
- 0.2% ages 10-39
- 0.4% ages 40-49
- 1.3% ages 50-59
- 14.8% ages 80+
So… given the risks, many seniors are self-isolating, myself included. Fortunately I’m able, as our university has cancelled Face-to-Face instruction for this month. Likely it will remain in effect the rest of this school semester.
The problem with self-isolating when you live alone
I like living alone. I’ve tried living with a spouse, a friend and a lover over the years — and living alone is just better for me.
However… that preference included substantial in-person, face-to-face encounters. Meeting with work colleagues in the hall, counseling students, going to parties, going to movies with friends, heck — even chatting up acquaintances at the post office, restaurants, and my local RV store.
I’d drop into Starbucks. I’d hit Wegman’s at least 2-3 times a week for goat milk, pasture-raised eggs, and maybe one of the hot dishes laid out so appealingly and ready to scoop up. (Is ANYONE still eating food laid out where everyone can breath on it?)
Now I limit my grocery visits to once every 10 days or so — when I run out of something both perishable and critical. I spray bleach on the handle of the shopping cart before using it. And my skin crawls — wanting to get out of the store. I still get a sushi lunch (because I see them using rubber gloves to prepare the food, and see it’s enclosed in plastic).
Frankly, I’m going stir crazy.
It’s good for my (lack of) exercise. I’m now walking the dogs along the river levee most days when the weather is good. I’m doing more work on my yard than I’ve done in years. But… it’s not socializing.
Chatting with friends on the phone just isn’t good enough.
Have you seen/heard the Italians locked into their apartments because of the coronavirus — who have taken to singing out their balconies? Neighbors join in and it looks like a new form of socializing.
What do you think? Ideas? Suggestions? What works?