Betty Wheeler | Seaview Avenue
Del Mar’s seniors are finding creative ways to stay connected through technology under COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Starting with the transition of the monthly in-person “Singing Together” event to a Zoom-based “Singing Apart” event, as reported in the April Sandpiper, this tech transition has grown to include many more activities, and some formerly tech-averse seniors are joining in, with support from Del Mar Community Connections and the Del Mar Foundation.
The DMCC’s Tuesday Lunch Connection (TLC), formerly a catered, in-person event held in the Del Mar Community Building, now takes place with DMCC’s driver delivering lunches, prepared by a Del Mar restaurant, to participating seniors, who can then enjoy the lunch speaker’s presentation by Zoom. The first “virtual” TLC featured lunch from Board and Brew, with Mayor Ellie Haviland as the speaker; you can watch the meeting here: https://bit.ly/Sandpiper-8.
Seniors or disabled Del Mar residents can go to https://www.dmcc.cc/covid19 to request needed groceries or other supplies from DMCC, whose staff work to meet those requests within 24-48 hours; or to learn how to Zoom; or or learn about other resources available during the COVID-19 health emergency.
The Del Mar Foundation has stepped up to help with this tech-transition, with financial support for the TLC program, DMCC’s driver, and a Chromebook program that is connecting formerly tech-averse seniors to the online world. And the Foundation’s April First Thursdays program (with subscribers across the age range, including many seniors) was delivered by an email program with video links. It wasn’t the same as a live performance – but it had the bonus of the the first-ever First Thursdays “appearance” by Yo-Yo Ma!
For many Del Marians, senior or not, since the stay-at-home order was issued, connection to family and friends has been carefully nurtured online; our library or bookstore visits and cultural enrichment have moved online; and more of us now have options for medical care through telemedicine or online consultations. Once we’re on “the other side” of this health emergency, perhaps we will all emerge with an enhanced arsenal of creative ways to stay connected, healthy, and inspired. And perhaps we’ll never again take for granted how special it is to connect with others in person.