In the Talmudic tract of Avot…”Sayings of our ancestors” there is one sparse line…”Either companionship or death.’
While we never take those words literally, the implication in that sentiment reveals how important personal connection, friendship and human interaction is to all people.
During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when people are socially distancing from each other in order to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, the impact of social isolation can be disabling as well. Elder adults, who are the most susceptible to contracting Covid-19 are among those who are also the most sequestered.
While it is important to maintain social distancing, it is also imperative to find ways to alleviate some of the isolation and loneliness which can affect the mental health and even physical health of our seniors.
There are many ways in which we can help.
First, some of our residents at Federation Housing have electronic devices. With internet access, residents can FaceTime with family members, attend “Zoom” programs offered by Federation Housing, Golden Slipper Gems, KleinLife, and other agencies.
Second, a phone call is always appreciated. A few minutes of friendly conversation, a cheerful voice, even a song can uplift folks’ spirits.
And, finally, encourage those who are able, to go outside, take a walk, get fresh air, while wearing masks and staying at least 6 feet apart from others.
Eventually, all of us will get through this pandemic. Let us realize that the support and care of our community will be of extreme importance in navigating this challenging time.
With blessings for safety and good health for all.
Rabbi Sandi Berliner