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As the Pandemic Hits The Villages, Life Goes On

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

July 27, 2020 – From February to mid June there were fewer than 100 cases in The Villages, the giant Central Florida community. Retirees in TV went about their busy lives, playing pickleball, golf, dancing, and partying. Governor Ron DeSantis even bragged about the low infection rate in the sprawling community of 120,000 residents.

With cases spiking in Florida and on track to reach 500,000 by early August, it turns out the gates of The Villages are not Covid 19 proof. Sumter County, the largest of the 3 counties where it is located, is seeing a rising number of cases. In recent weeks the daily case count has been between 20 and 40 (in surrounding counties the figures are in the hundreds). Cases in the County are primarily among people between 65-85, a big contrast to the rest of the state where they are concentrated among those 15 to 44. Hospitalizations are on the rise as well in The Villages.

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Posted by Admin on July 26th, 2020

The Pandemic: Having Trouble Saying No to Invitations and Favors?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

July 20, 2020 – Many people find themselves in situations like these. A relative invites you to a backyard birthday or graduation ceremony. You don’t feel comfortable about it, knowing there will be too many people there who won’t be careful about Covid. But then she says “Oh, Suzy would be so disappointed if you don’t come”. A different friend might ask a favor that you know is either going to take time you don’t have to spare, or put you in a situation you don’t want to be in. Or, you are in a group where no one else is wearing a mask, making you feel like some kind of alien. How do you best manage these situations?

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Posted by Admin on July 20th, 2020

Are You Still Planning to Snowbird Next Winter?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

July 11, 2020 — Normally by this time many retired folks from the Northeast and Midwest have found a rental in Florida, the Carolinas, Arizona, or some other warm weather state. Or, if they own a place, they are making plans to fly or drive south in the fall. This year is different, to say the least. While many snowbirds left their winter places when Covid cases were light in those states and the disease was just starting to abate in the Northeast. The opposite is happening now. Arizona, Florida and the Carolinas are raging out of control, with ICU beds starting to reach capacity.

Photo by Tina Nord from Pexels

All of that said, we would love to know how your snowbird plans for next winter are coming along. Are you planning on leaving at your normal time, delay, or not go at all? Have you locked in a rental, or are you waiting to see what happens? Will you travel down there by the usual means – car, airplane, or cartrain? What would the situation have to be at your destination for you to decide to go in terms of the number of cases, hospital capacity, etc.? Would we have to have a vaccine in place? What else would go into your decision to be a snowbird next winter?

Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below. This has the makings of being a fascinating and helpful topic. Thanks!

Posted by Admin on July 10th, 2020

Is Your Covid Compliance and Vigilance Changing Over Time?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

June 24, 2020 – One thing we can all agree on, Covid is getting old, even if it isn’t going away. Most people have been very good about trying to stay safe, keeping their social distance, wearing masks in public, and avoiding high risk behaviors like large indoor social gatherings. Not so long ago in cities and towns, people often switched sides of the street to avoid contaminating one another. But as time goes on it seems like many are getting relaxed about it. Maybe too relaxed, in view of the fact that this crisis could be with us a long time. With 10 states recording case increases of 50% in the past few days, there is the danger that could overwhelm our healthcare system.

We would like to get Member input on how your response to the pandemic is changing over time. For example, are you doing things now that you wouldn’t have considered a few months ago? If so, what kinds of activities (eating out, travel, visiting friends, sports, a haircut, etc.) are you engaging in that you now consider safe or minimal risk? Are you as careful about wiping things down as you were before? Do you have a bubble, and how do you make sure you stay safe within it? Do you socialize with others outside your bubble, and if so, under what circumstances?

Please use the Comments section below to share how your compliance attitudes and behaviors have changed over time, and what you consider safe. We aren’t looking to debate how real the crisis is, or shame those who are clearly not concerned about the pandemic. There are those in that camp, but there is not much we can do, except give them a wide berth. In the meantime, we hope you will all stay vigilant and safe. Until we have a vaccine, our generation is the most vulnerable.

Posted by Admin on June 23rd, 2020

What Is the First Thing You Will Do Once Corona Is Behind Us?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

May 20, 2020 — No two ways about it, the corona virus has been brutal. So many lives lost, livelihoods ruined, plans destroyed. Pain and suffering, deprivation, happiness taken away, etc. But, looking on the bright side, someday it will be behind us, thanks to a cure, a vaccine, or herd immunity.

Once the day comes that we can do anything we want without fear, we would love to know about the first thing you plan on doing. It can be something big, something tiny, no matter what. Please share your thoughts about what you would like to do so we can all have a hopeful target, a north star to guide us to a better day. Please share your thoughts, no matter what, in the Comments section below. Thanks, and stay safe and hopeful!

Posted by Admin on May 19th, 2020

COVID This and That –Cruises, Cases, and Cocktails

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

April 14, 2020 — Let’s face it, COVID and coronavirus is about the only conversation topic there is these days. So, we might as well have something interesting within that to discuss. Here are a few topics we hope we can generate some good Member comments on.

Is there coronavirus in your community? A member asked this question:

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Posted by Admin on April 13th, 2020

Golf Stages Comeback: The Coronavirus Boost!

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

April 46, 2020. — The spectre of coronavirus and COVID-19 has us hunkered down in our homes. Senior centers are closed, the nets are down on pickleball and tennis courts, clubhouses are locked. Shopping trips are a pastime of …. time past. So what can you do – play golf!

At The Villages in Central Florida, golf is about the only remaining leisure activity. Because golf is played outside in fairly wide open spaces with no contact with other people or their equipment, proponents argue that it is a safe activity. At The Villages there are some restrictions to maintain social distancing, like one person per rental golf cart, covers over the holes, and non-removable flagsticks so nothing is touched when retrieving the ball. Clubhouses, bars, and restaurants are closed. People there are out playing, happy to be able to do something other than watch coronavirus updates on TV.

Sumter County issued a stay at home advisory, which listed certain permissible recreational activities like walking, biking, hiking, fishing, and swimming. Golf wasn’t mentioned specifically, but officials clarified that golf would be OK provided that golf courses manage social distancing properly. Meanwhile most pickleball and tennis courts have been removed so people cannot play those sports.

In other parts of the country golf courses seem to be split between those that are open for play and those closed down. In Key West, the Golf Club was closed because it was not deemed an essential business. In Connecticut many private clubs are open, but have adopted strict rules and tee times to enforce social distancing.

Update on The Villages and Coronavirus. The University of Florida Health tested about 2300 residents of The Villages for coronavirus, most of whom displayed symptoms. Twenty three of them tested positive. Of the 1,400 people who did not have symptoms, two were positive. The median age there is 72, so most residents are definitely in the age group that is most vulnerable.

Comments? What is happening in your area with golf and other activities. Are they still possible? What are you doing to get your exercise and/or keep your sanity? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on April 5th, 2020

Are You Willing to Die for the Economy?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

March 24, 2020 — Daryl, a longtime Member, suggested what he termed a “potentially explosive topic” for the Blog: Are our Members willing to sacrifice their lives for the economy under COVID-19? It arises because of the controversial comments by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who recently said: “‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?”

Lt. Gov. Patrick’s COVID remarks

The Lt. Governor seemed to be picking up on comments from the President and other conservatives that we should open up businesses to keep the economy from tanking further. Those are in contradiction to the action most health care officials recommend – closing things down to slow the infection curve.

Our question

So here is our question. To slow down the infection curve, do you think everyone except essential personnel should continue to stay at home and maintain social distancing? Or, is preserving the economy more important, so we should let people go back to work and resume their normal activities, even if means that you, as a member of the most vulnerable age group, might die as a result?

Please let us know where you stand. Note that if you start a political rant we will not publish your remarks, and if this gets out of hand we will terminate discussion. But, we hope we can have a thoughtful exchange of ideas without the usual partisan divide.








                
Posted by Admin on March 24th, 2020

Upside Down – Retiring in a Corona Virus World

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

March 16, 2020 — Wow, life has turned upside down in the last few weeks. A localized epidemic in one Chinese province of a new virus, COVID-19, has spread around the globe and landed as a pandemic in the USA and the rest of the world. The toilet paper aisle is barren (we’re not sure why!), and hand sanitizers and disinfectants aren’t available at any price.  Just about everything is closing. Note: we have a separate Blog post with great Member input on “The Corona Virus and Your Retirement Portfolio: Buy, Hold, or Panic!

The world is in crisis. Compared to other groups, the pandemic will not affect most of us retirees as drastically as it will the working age population. Our travel and social plans will be disrupted and our retirement portfolios are shrinking. We certainly won’t be checking out any new places to retire, at least in person (although we will have plenty of time to do it online!). But there will be isolation, depression, and anxiety. It is also shocking to realize that as baby boomers, we are in the high risk category!

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Posted by Admin on March 16th, 2020

Retirement Happiness Levels High – And Great Advice for Next Generation

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

January 13, 2020 — Many thanks to the over 400 members who took the time to contribute their valuable insights to last week’s “Retirement Happiness” survey, We appreciate your spirit of giving back to this community!

As promised, here is a detailed report on the survey. We’ve included links to hundreds of interesting Member responses to various questions – they are definitely worth reading to get a better understand happiness and retirement. At the end of the article you will find a list of reports to all our previous surveys.

Background
This is the first time we have surveyed on your retirement happiness. Here are the highlights from the 18 question poll. Detailed findings the questions are listed below that.

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Posted by Admin on January 12th, 2020