Judson Haims: Making the best while the county is shutting down
Special to The Aspen Times
As the country shuts down to take proactive measures and limit the spread of COVID-19, so is our county. Currently, all public and private schools have closed for at least three weeks because of the coronavirus. In effort to put our community’s health, safety and well-being first, restaurants and many businesses have closed – desperate measure for a desperate time.
So, what can you do during this period of shutdown?
In the absence of work and places to go where larger groups of people congregate, perhaps this may be a time to spend time with family, help others, and give a lending hand to others within our community who may need assistance.
As schools and recreation centers are closed, I was wondering what children within the community were going to do to keep busy. While I had feared many would resort to their phones and electronics, I was happily surprised these past two weekends to see many children outside playing.
This weekend I saw children out ridding their bikes, riding skateboards, throwing lacrosse balls, playing soccer, football, baseball, and in my neighborhood, I saw a few cleaning out the garage.
We live in an outdoor playground — while the weather holds out, encourage your kids to take advantage of it and get outside.
When the weather inhibits outside activities, consider spending time with your kids reading, playing board games, listening to podcasts or TED Talks, doing arts/crafts, and spending time preparing and cooking meals.
Give a kid a hot dog, you feed them for the moment. Teach a kid to prepare a tomato pasta, baked chicken, roasted broccoli or a salad, you’ll give them important life skills to eat healthy for a lifetime.
For adults who are working from home or who have been temporarily laid off, perhaps the shutdown will provide time to get chores done that always seem to get put off. Does a room need painting or can closets be cleaned out? Does the yard need tending to? Can the garage finally be cleaned out and organized?
Because the coronavirus may pose a greater threat to our community’s elders, it’s important to remember that those who are younger and may have a greater ability to fend off the virus have an important role to play.
One way to help is by offering to assist our elders get groceries and essential items. As this population will be more prone to isolate and avoid possible exposure, they may forego getting household and health items they may desperately need.
If you would like to offer a helping hand to our senior community, please reach out to Pitkin County Senior Services manager, Chad Federwitz. He can be reached at 970-920-5432.
For those who are healthy, able-bodied and have the means, please offer your assistance to help our aging community members. There are family members and caregivers who could greatly use some assistance.
As we all appreciate and value our outdoors, please consider looking around our town(s) for trash that has found its way to our roadsides and trails and so desperately needs to be removed. This could be a great opportunity for families to get outside together and do our part to bettering our community.
The shutting down of our community is going to cause many short- and long-term issues. Hardships will be inevitable. Nonetheless, we will persevere and lives will be saved. Like the phoenix from the flame, we will rise.
Please think about those in our community who may need some help. Nothing can get you outside of yourself and provide greater self-worth than helping others.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale. He is an advocate for the elderly and is available to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns and 970-328-5526.