By Rebecca Fending
At this point in the pandemic, we are all aware that life as we know it will forever be altered, especially for seniors. We can already feel how our daily routine is morphing by the way masks are largely mandated throughout the country and world, and the newly formed desire to further distance ourselves from others in public spaces. From an added illness to be vigilant about, to preferring to pay for extra space during travel, here are the many ways seniors will have their lives modified.
A new deadly disease to worry about
When the pandemic was first starting out, it was reported that the disease largely affected older age groups, and it’s proven to be true. This is due to the fact that as we age, our immune systems begin to weaken and slow by no fault of our own. When a revolutionary virus such as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on an aged immune system, it has shown to be deadly in most cases.
However, don’t let this scare you from living your life. Rather, let it help you implement healthier lifestyle changes and make you vigilant against unsanitary conditions. The best ways for seniors to protect themselves from any sort of virus is by practicing safe socialization methods (i.e. distancing, masks, constant sanitizing & etc.) and boosting your immune system through supplements or a whole diet.
A different way of traveling
Possibly one of the biggest pandemic impacts that has been especially prevalent this summer is the increased preference in road trips. Whereas most people imagine a “vacation” consisting of hopping on a large, crowded passenger plane and crossing state or country lines, now many are indulging in road trips. Whether it’s to a nearby attraction or states away to escape into the wooded wilderness, road trips have made a huge comeback and there aren’t any signs of a slow down in the near future.
Road trips are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get away for a weekend, week or month. Hitting the open road is a great idea for folks over 50 as it cuts back on your direct contact with others in a limited space such as an airplane, and it gives you the freedom of stopping where every you like. If you have a camper or recreational vehicle, it’s even better since you don’t have to worry about staying in a hotel room!
Bruce Horovitz of Kaiser Health News writes in his piece for USA Today that he expects the number of seniors flying business class will rise in the coming months and years. As those over 50 begin to itch with the travel bug, they’ll return to flying. Once they do, they want opt for the more spacious offerings that business class contains. If not business class, then perhaps they may buy an extra seat to ensure they have a personal space buffer during their travels. Where as these options weren’t seemingly necessary before, they certainly sound like a reasonable (even desirable) possibility for financially-able seniors.
Altered dining experiences
Horovitz also explains that according to Christopher Muller, a hospitality professor at Boston University, restaurants will use their newly developed safety protocols as leverage in attracting senior customers. We can already see this being true as many local restaurants have begun to advertise their outdoor dining (now with more fans and shade) and newly CDC health guideline trained staff as a way to recover from lost business. Whereas dining outdoors in Florida’s face-meltingly hot summer would have engaged most people’s gag reflex this time last year, now it’s a way to enjoy your mealtime without a mask.
Muller also states that the addition of sanitization-dedicated staff members in restaurants will add another layer of solace for senior guests. With staff regularly sanitizing “high-touch” areas such as handles, knobs, chairs and tables, seniors can further enjoy their time in public, perhaps with even more peace of mind than they had pre-pandemic.
Life for seniors in a post-COVID world may seem daunting in the number of precautions and worries now added to their plates, but it’s also full of promising new opportunities. Whether it be the added space between people in public spaces or the opportunity to explore via road trip, post-pandemic world for those over 50 won’t be all bad, just cautious.