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Shawnee Senior Happenings: Centers await more information before deciding when to re-open

Amy Riggins

Hello Shawnee! It is so nice to see evidence of spring. The birds chirping, flowers blooming, and lots of green growing in the trees and grass are all wonderful reminders of God’s beautiful creation!

As we continue to be safe and practice social distancing, I am glad we can still be productive. Are you finding things to do around the house? Have you tried cleaning out a drawer or closet? You can start with a small one, or even just a section of a larger one. You don’t have to throw anything away unless you want to, as getting it more organized will help you know what you have. You never know what you might find!

Have you spoken with anyone on the phone lately? I hope you are staying in touch with friends, families, neighbors, or church members. Reach out and connect with someone, as you just might make their day!

Did you happen to see any Seniors on Parade recently? Some of our volunteers and patrons from the Senior Center organized two parades around local neighborhoods over the past two weeks. There were twice as many participants the second time around, so I think it is catching on!

It was great to view decorated cars, happy faces, smiles, and lots of waving hands! If you didn’t see it, perhaps you heard cars honking as they went down the street. Everywhere they went, they were greeted by waves and smiles in return. Keep looking, as there might be another parade in your area soon! If you would like to join in on next week’s parade, just meet in the Senior Center parking lot at 401 N. Bell at 2:00 on Wednesday, May 6, weather permitting. You can remain in your car the whole time so you can still be at least 6’ away from others.

It is also nice to see evidence of more activity in town as some businesses are allowed to open back up. Small steps towards returning to normal, whatever our “new normal” will look like. The reality is it will be a slow process because we are still dealing with a contagious virus which can be dangerous to some.

As I said last week, we wish we could reopen the Senior Center and the Community Center right away. However, we are still patiently waiting to open our facilities until we can do so safely. A wide variety of individuals attend our centers, and many of those are in the vulnerable population which can be affected by COVID-19. For that reason, we need to wait.

We are still assessing when we will be opening for sure. We are following the CDC guidelines as well as the recommendations of our state and local leaders. Much will be determined on how our community responds to the three phases of reopening. We hope to share a new reopening date soon, but for now, our centers will remain closed until further notice.

Until then, please know your personal health is important, and you are the main one who can help protect yourself. Develop the habit of washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before you eat. Avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean. These simple steps can go a long way towards preventing the spread of germs.

Please remember you are not alone during this time. If you need someone to talk to or would like to ask for prayer, you can call one of the many churches in the area and ask to speak to a minister. There is also a toll free 24/7 Prayer Line set up by Samaritan’s Purse at 1-888-388-2683.

If you have specific questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, there is a toll free 24/7 informational call center at 1-877-215-8336 which is offered by The Oklahoma State Department of Health. They provide local information and resources.

In closing, thank you for reading. We will continue to provide updates on Shawnee Senior Happenings here in the News-Star, on the local news stations, and on KGFF radio found at 1450 AM or 100.9 FM. Please be safe and stay healthy!