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Old 03-22-2020, 05:10 PM   #1841
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You can go to the Grand Junction Sentinel, click on opinion and it is in the Op/Ed section, I believe page B2. This week I wrote about what it is like to be a senior and worry about Covid-19. I write about senior issues monthly, but they wanted more since the virus targets us.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:13 PM   #1842
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:19 PM   #1843
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I think you have to set up an account to see that? It does not seem to be available on the Columns page, via this earlier link, although an earlier 3/13 column is listed:

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PS -- Here is the Columns page of that Grand Junction Sentinel, where a new column would be posted:

https://www.gjsentinel.com/opinion/columns/
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:17 PM   #1844
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I was growing up in Florida and only in high school when JFK was killed. Also was only 90 miles from Cuba during the missile crisis. Good thing the Russians blinked first.
I grew up in Miami and my family had a bomb shelter just outside the back door. That was amazing in a city that doesn't have basements in homes because the water table is about a foot below ground level. Hated that thing and probably would have refused to join the spiders and frogs that lived in it had a shooting war started.

I was a freshman at the Univ of Miami when JFK was killed. He had been in Miami just a few weeks before he died and the U of Miami band (of which I was a member) met him at Miami Intnl Airport and played Hail to the Chief. He came over to the band and shook hands with many of us. We cried when we heard the news.

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Old 03-22-2020, 09:30 PM   #1845
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Gene, those were very interesting articles about the economic influence of seniors and the corona virus and seniors. Enjoyed them. I hadn't really thought about city-wide or county-wide economic leveling effects of Federal payments such as Medicare and Social Security, only the leveling effect on my own finances.

I wonder how pensions would figure into that? Pensions are pretty stable, too, and added to the Federal payments might add even more influence for seniors.
Interesting.

And an interesting thread which I also just discovered!

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Old 03-24-2020, 11:15 AM   #1846
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Went to the supermarket yesterday during senior hour and it was a zoo. More customers than before Christmas and social distancing was difficult and lines at the registers were packed. But we did find eggs! We make our own sanitizer and wipes now and probably never will buy them again. When the disease started in December, it was quickly obvious that this could be just what it has turned out to be, but people sat on their hands. Politicians find taking measures like stay at home or quarantining politically difficult, but they are necessary to stop a quickly spreading and too often fatal disease. Diseases like this have happened before and will happen again, but you'd think some people never knew that.

I can't explain why the only column on the opinion pages last Sunday that does not appear is the one I wrote. The paper has sometimes been difficult to deal with. On the webpage you can contact them and ask where it is. I don't think it will change your life, but it portrays what we had to deal with in the past week and some facts about what has happened nationally. Thanks for the compliments.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:32 PM   #1847
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Thanks for the update.

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Old 03-25-2020, 04:01 PM   #1848
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Here's last week's column as it appeared on my computer since the Sentinel left it out. The publisher wants a column a week for the duration of this crisis. Seniors are probably a big part of the subscription base and he wants to keep them subscribing. I want to keep them and me too alive. So try again this Sunday and let me know if it shows up online.

Here 'tis—

We were really looking forward to that two week trip to Bluff, Utah, next month. Now we are nervous about a dozen mile trip to Grand Junction for essentials. Life is upended.

Because I have asthma and am pushing 80, for two weeks we have been increasingly practicing social distancing. It was a hard decision. Sure, risks may be low now, but if careless, the payoff can be fatal. Keeping fear from turning into panic is necessary, hard to do with fast moving events.

The first Mesa County Covid-19 case was reported last weekend. We increased precautions. Did we have obsessive compulsive disorder? We turned down a dinner invitation and wore gloves and surgical masks for a quick shopping trip to town last Monday. I only saw one other person wearing a mask and no one except food handlers wearing gloves. Traffic was light; stores, half empty. They say masks don’t help, but why are health care providers wearing them? Two studies claim the virus stays suspended in air for as much as 40 minutes. By Tuesday, optional medical procedures were being cancelled.

On Thursday, we again entered the supermarket lottery and found no eggs at two stores. Grocery stores were the only busy ones. Others closed or had few customers. Several more people were seen with masks. Traffic was lighter than Monday. Lots of parking downtown.

A surreal experience. Many people, mostly vunerable seniors, ignoring advice—not keeping away, not using sanitizer. We avoided them. We may be stir crazy, but shopping did not relieve anxieties. How can you sanitize an entire shopping cart? Hoarding and empty shelves do not inspire confidence. We are all in this together. It is time to share resources.

Do we keep gloves on in the car? Do we wipe down controls, steering wheel, door handles? How much can we do? I used my coat sleeve to open a door—what do I do with that sleeve?

We returned home, relieved to be self locked down. My hands felt like sandpaper from using wipes—alcohol is not hand lotion. Are the cans and boxes contaminated? It is hard not to think that way when seniors with underlying conditions are so vulnerable. It’s not paranoia when you have real enemies. For Mesa County’s 29,000 seniors extreme measures may feel necessary. The County has about 500 hospital beds, one for every 58 seniors. If the system is overwhelmed like Italy, triage occurs. Seniors get no ventilators. That’s why Italy’s mortality rate is so high—as much as eight times Asian countries. Outpatient surgical centers could provide more beds and ventilators. Are they are being brought into the critical care system? Are hospitals converting beds to critical care?

If we as a community do not “flatten the curve”, health care will be quickly overwhelmed—maybe in a week, maybe, two. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea have controlled the disease. Italy and other European countries did not pay attention. This virus was discovered before Christmas in China. China messed up for several weeks, then took extreme measures. That worked. But we are doing no better, maybe worse, than Italy.

We miss our friends. But even careful people make mistakes and become exposed. I don’t want to infect them nor be infected. Balancing social distancing and keeping in touch with friends is another balancing act. That the disease is infectious when someone does not know they are infected makes it more dangerous. Despite getting flu shots annually, four years ago I had the flu and pneumonia. Having trouble breathing is memorable. I spent a week homebound on oxygen. Are there enough oxygen tanks? Can they be used in place of ventilators? Can oxygen concentrators help? What is the community doing for seniors living alone? Lots of questions needing answers.

We are buying time until treatments and vaccines are available, maybe a year away. Antiviral coronavirus drugs have not been terribly successful. If people ignore necessary restrictions, cases will spike. That happened in the 1918-19 flu pandemic. Will young people take precautions? Can seniors stand being homebound for a year? If seniors get sick, will they get treatment? Uncertainty is hard. We feel we are on our own.

Without total community buy in, everyone is at risk. Not every case is mild and young people can die too. It has been an anxious week and we’d best get used to it.

Gene is a retired lawyer, former history professor, occasional journalist who is watching a lot of old movies on TV.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:20 PM   #1849
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Thank you Gene. We hope people listen.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:07 PM   #1850
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Ditto above.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:52 AM   #1851
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Well said, Gene. Looking forward to your next column.

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Old 03-26-2020, 08:04 AM   #1852
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Well written Gene. It summarizes our experiences on the extreme east edge of the Phoenix urban sprawl.

We have had to drive into down town Phoenix to the Barrow Neurological Center to get more help for Pamela's ongoing balance and aphasia issues from our being hit as pedestrians in a cross walk (with a green walk light showing to us) in Salt Lake City on 22 December 2018. Her bleeding in the brain (traumatic brain injury) issues may be our reality for the duration we have. She is now 71 and I will be 75 early next month.

The news is painting a picture of seniors being expendable after a lifetime of working to help produce the common good and raise a family.

The RV world has seen the closure of most RV parks from local to national. The seniors make up the largest percentage of folks having the time to enjoy traveling life style. We shall see how this unfolds over the coming months.

Our Airstream only park in Lakeside, AZ could probably be open for activity (May to September season) as there are only 40 memberships and the lots are larger than the one our house is on (about 8,000 square feet). The question could be will we be allowed to drive the 130 miles into the mountains. The local hospital services the northeast quadrant of Arizona which includes a large area of Indiana reservations and is their primary acute care center. We would not want to encroach on the finite medical service for the locals.

We hope the folks in the Airstream family stay safe and well and pray we all get through this despite the lack of leadership shown by many of the "leaders" tasked with protecting our population.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:48 AM   #1853
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Gene,
Your article was excellent: emphasizing what we need to do to protect ourselves as seniors but without hammering people over the head.

Reading between the lines shows the constant refrain: why aren't we following 1. strong advice to stay home, and 2. if we must go out, why aren't we taking precautionary measures?

Of course we miss our friends, but that's why we have phones, email--use them to stay in touch and check on solos. I think as Americans, we are too spoiled by our wealth and safety (so far) to accept the restrictions this virus puts on our privileged lifestyle.

I've been home for two weeks, going out only to walk my big, energetic dog, and even so, staying away from other walkers and allowing no one to pet my friendly guy, lest he carry the virus to me on his coat.

Wake up, folks, and stay home!

Vivian
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:56 AM   #1854
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The news is painting a picture of seniors being expendable after a lifetime of working to help produce the common good and raise a family.
With great unease, I am picking up the same picture: seniors are expendable. I really hope we are wrong in this vibe. But with so many younger people having bought into the "me, me, me" way of thinking, we may have a battle on our hands to get sufficient medical care, although we have been paying into it for our entire working lives.

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Old 03-26-2020, 11:06 AM   #1855
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Welcome to the last lap around the track.

"Survival of The Fittest."

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Old 03-26-2020, 11:39 AM   #1856
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Gene,

Reading between the lines shows the constant refrain: why aren't we following 1. strong advice to stay home, and 2. if we must go out, why aren't we taking precautionary measures?

Vivian
You got it.

Different parts of the country are reacting differently. Some areas are not taking this very seriously and our area is sort of like that, but the governor issued a stay at home order taking effect this morning. When out Monday, lots of people not being all that careful. I understand people change habits slowly, especially seniors.

And since I have been writing a senior column I have realized we are ignored a lot and some consider us expendable. I have no intention of dying for the economy. If careful, we can have both.

Thanks to all of you for the compliments.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:45 PM   #1857
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switz, sorry to hear about your accident. I hope both of you come through it okay.

Gene, your article is excellent. Thank-you for contributing to The Breakfast Show. Thanks too, to all who reply. The written word is more important than ever now.

What we are going through will become part of history; the human experience.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:46 PM   #1858
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Welcome to the last lap around the track.

"Survival of The Fittest."

Speaking of which, they have also cancelled the Kentucky Derby. I guess my bookie will go broke.
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:06 AM   #1859
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PS -- Here is the Columns page of that Grand Junction Sentinel, where a new column would be posted:

https://www.gjsentinel.com/opinion/columns/
David Marston's recent column is a good read on the new virus IMO:

https://www.gjsentinel.com/opinion/c...abea93ee4.html

"Keep breathing, remain calm, and wash your hands!"

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Old 03-28-2020, 05:10 AM   #1860
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. . .
Gene, your article is excellent. Thank-you for contributing to The Breakfast Show. Thanks too, to all who reply. The written word is more important than ever now.

What we are going through will become part of history; the human experience.
Well said . . . difficult to imagine what the Wikipedia story will be in 2121!

Perhaps an updated version of the Spanish Flu?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

Peter
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