Residents of Armstrong’s Heaton Place retirement community celebrate the ways we have discovered to come together amid the novel coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Armstrong retirement community reflects on self-isolating amid coronavirus

Heaton Place residents see the beauty and renewal in the pause of COVID-19 pandemic

We live with the ideas that people don’t like change; and that the familiar is better and easier to deal with. Nonetheless, certain events force us from the comfort of that reality.

Today, people around the world are adjusting to having their daily routines altered in unprecedented ways.

COVID-19 is an unfolding tragedy, but at the same time, it will unleash the real miracle of the human spirit.

We work in a retirement facility, Heaton Place, in Armstrong, B.C.

Its occupants have been identified as the most vulnerable to our “new” reality.

They are perceived to be a group stuck in their ways; resistant to change.

With respect to the former, the daily statistics give truth to their vulnerability. We work hard at minimizing that risk. However, there seems little truth to the latter. This is what our seniors have taught us in the past few weeks.

Somehow, we find a way to cope, to adjust and to reflect.

Through our ability to adapt and be creative, we begin to view our world in different ways.

Normalcy, has been put on hold.

We are asked to stay at home and be with our families (in our case the Heaton Place family).

We reconnect.

Do what they’re doing, enjoy your immediate family and extended family through all those means provided to us electronically — the landline, the cellphone, or video-conferencing.

Call your parents; speak with your siblings; reach out to a lonely neighbour or senior.

If you have children, remind yourself that there is no greater gift than a child as they continually teach us what is truly important – inter-dependency and love.

Our seniors have taught us the irony of social distancing, physical barriers are bringing us closer together.

Living in close quarters extends our ability to be patient, tolerant and understanding.

These qualities resonant in our seniors and in our staff.

Hopefully, they continue to resonant at an elevated level in a post COVID-19 world.

Looking out a window, they remind themselves and us of what a beautiful world we live in.

Our lives are on hold but the beauty of nature, and its wildlife, continues living outside our imposed isolation.

Learn from them.

Teach and remind yourself, your children and loved ones of these wonders.

As each day passes, we improve, our planet improves, and our values improve.

From all of what is currently happening in the world, we at Heaton Place, like you, will grieve the loss of life.

But join us in celebrating the new ways that we have discovered to live and come together — all the new things that we have imagined and hoped for — the new choices that we have made that have served to expand our positive perception of one another and in being more respectful to both ourselves and others.

We will be healed.

Our planet can be healed.

We refer to the smog-free cities and cleaner Italian waters that have resulted almost instantaneously.

As one of our seniors remarked: “COVID-19 may demonstrate how small our world really is but, at the same time, it will provide us with a renewed vision for our world and will redefine what we want and what is important for our world.”

In other words, COVID-19 is a tragedy, but it will serve to improve balance and harmony with each other and the environment that we share, whether that be at Heaton Place or in our global community.

Provided by the staff of Heaton Place in Armstrong, B.C.

READ MORE: Armstrong retirement community place to thrive

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