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Updates and advice with ongoing situation regarding COVID-19

Amy Riggins
The Shawnee Senior Center and Shawnee Community Center are both temporarily closed because of the ongoing pandemic. The current plan is to reopen on April 1, and in the meantime, Project Heart is providing lunches on a take-out basis.

Good morning, Shawnee! What a different a week makes. Our city, county, country and world have seen multiple changes in everyday life. Even as I write this article today on March 18, things could change before it is published on March 21. But God has not changed, and I believe He is still on His throne.

We don’t like change, do we? We like things to be normal and predictable, and when circumstances arise which throw us out of our routine, we can feel off balance. This is a normal response to situations beyond our control. When this happens, we have a choice to make. Are we going to focus on the negative, or choose to focus on the positive? Even when facing drastic change, we can still choose how we respond.

I have seen a variety of responses to COVID-19 in recent days. These range from overreaction to denial. From gloom and doom to a solid hope for the future. From panic to purposeful planning. From hopelessness to assurance. We are facing serious times but let me encourage you to take things day by day, even hour by hour.

We can all do our part to follow the recommendations to help stop the spread of this virus. We can protect ourselves and our loved ones. Here are the general tips: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough.

Avoid touching your face. Practice social distancing. Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more. Stay home if you or your family members feel sick. Seek sound medical advice from a professional.

For those at higher risk, which includes the older population and individuals with underlying health issues, the specific tips from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are to stay home and avoid contact with other people.

That is a big step, especially when coupled with all the above measures. But following these recommendations can make a big difference in lowering your risk of infection. We encourage you to do be safe and stay healthy.

Our article normally features upcoming senior happenings at the Shawnee Senior Center and Community Center. And since we are now temporarily closed, we don’t have much coming up soon, but let me provide you with our updates:

The Senior Center at 401 N. Bell and the Community Center at 804 S. Park are both closed to the public now through April 5. All activities at Shawnee Recreation facilities have been cancelled during this time. Our plan is to reopen on April 6.

The Senior Center staff is still working behind the scenes to prepare for upcoming programs. Our goal is to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for patrons aged 55+.

Project Heart lunches are still being provided to current participants on a take-out basis. While they are not accepting new registrations at this time, you can call 405-275-4530 for more information. As of this writing, the Meals on Wheels program through COCAA are still delivering meals on their normal schedule.

Updates will be provided via the Shawnee News-Star, through the Oklahoma news outlets, and on our Facebook page: Shawnee Parks and Recreation. We look forward to returning to normal operations soon, and we miss seeing you!

Be safe and stay healthy!