Guide to a Caring Return

It is that time of year again.  Snowbirds and others who have homes elsewhere are returning to their south Florida abodes.  Those of us who are here year-round notice the change in traffic and general business of everything.  This ebb and flow of population is nothing new to us.

But this year of the pandemic is different, and calls for new considerations.

For those who are returning, here are some suggestions. 

Just the very fact that you have traveled from here to your summer place and back means that you have been more at risk of COVID exposure than those of us who did not go anywhere at all other than a couple doctor appointments.  Some of you have traveled far more.  I’m sure that wasn’t easy.

First of all, when you talk to us, please do not imply that our measure of isolation is too extreme.  Our degree of isolation may be due to an underlying medical condition that you don’t know about.  Risk taking for you might not be the same for us. 

White Pelicans returning to Sanibel
Please do not imply that we isolate out of fear.  Some of us have isolated because, even before COVID, we had first-hand knowledge of how a wacko immune system can nearly kill us, or how awful it was to be in the ICU with viral pneumonia.  Using that knowledge to make wise personal decisions is not fear; it is learning from the lessons life has taught us.  And having escaped death before, why should we squander that fortune by taking unnecessary risk now?

Please don’t pressure us to attend gatherings that you think are safe, but that we do not.

Please don’t judge us. 

And we won’t judge you for travelling and gathering with others, even though now that you’re here, you may have brought the results of your risk taking with you.  We won’t talk about that; we will remain silent.  But yes, we do think about it.  We have to.

What we will do is expect you to wear the darn mask. 

When we read the local papers and see photos of you attending indoor functions with plenty of other people, and the photos reveal that you as well as others are not wearing the darn masks, do not be surprised when we avoid you in the neighborhood.  We still really like you very much, but you’ve been where we will not go.

Please don’t worry about us.  We have everything that we need delivered, and we prepare all of our meals.  All that cooking has been fun for me, at least.  If you cook for us, you might be putting us in the awkward position of needing to refuse your culinary gifts.  When and if we need help, we will ask for it. 

Please do help those who ask for help.  There are plenty of folks who do need help.  Contact FISH of SANCAP for details about how to do that.

And if you’d like to talk with us, pick up the phone (we’re always home!) or shoot us an email.  We love hearing from you.  Just not face-to-face.  Not now.

Thanks for understanding, and happy holidays!




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