Reflections in the Time of Pandemic: Alison Cservenschi, Bedford Senior Center

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On March 13th we reached the one-year anniversary of the Senior Center’s physical space being closed to the public and this is our 11th edition of the alternative COVID newsletter. As I reflect back, what a year this has been. I recently looked back at the April newsletter last year. We started in that month with no programs but COA staff being available by phone and email. This has continued throughout the pandemic and will continue until we are able to finally re-open this year and beyond.

Our first virtual program was Sing-Along with two of our dedicated volunteers, Joyce and Charlie Demoss. Charlie and I spoke about connecting with their weekly group and we decided to target outreach to regular attendees and offer the class. With assistance getting on zoom, for those who needed it, we set up and began offering the alternative program online. Yoga with Helen came online next and quickly began gathering consistent attendees weekly.

Over this year of COVID, we have been able to offer more zoom programs each month, curbside meals and drop-off fix it shop services, alternative SHINE, and tax appointments, maintained both medical and nonmedical rides, and continued to provide our robust services through our Social Worker and COA staff. I feel that we all know more about you and each other than ever having been on zoom from our homes and offices. We have delivered tons of food to homes of those in need and also delivered masks and gift bags to those who needed a lift during COVID.

I am forever grateful for all the community support we have received over this time. From generous donations, thank you cards and notes, gift bags, masks, and financial support for our ongoing virtual exercise classes from the FBCOA. We cannot serve all of you without the compassion and support from our community and Town leadership. In terms of getting the vaccine, you are encouraged to call the state helpline on 2-1-1 (877-211-6277) or visit  www.vaxfinder.mass.gov.  We are also happy to answer your COVID questions and support you while you find your way to available clinics. As the weeks go by more and more vaccine sites are opening outside of Bedford. If you have a need for transportation to a local clinic please call us.

I look forward to the future where we are all vaccinated, safe to open our space, and be able to be together again. You are resilient, problem solvers, and I applaud your resourcefulness and ability to stay connected during this time. Take care and please do not hesitate to call us.  We are here for you, as always.


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