The untold fears and sufferings of older adults across the world brought about by the corona virus is more than anyone could ever imagine. The mental agony they go through, seeing people or friends, their age or even younger, being taken to the grave, not in hundreds but in thousands, every day, is a torture in the mind.
I remember my father who passed two months ago, not from COVID-19, but from colon cancer. When he heard about seniors citizens restrictions to go out, the feeling of terror immediately clouded his wholeness. Every single day, for more than 60 years, my father jogged, played badminton, basketball, even at an old age. He never had a sedentary moment and was very fit. To keep someone like him in a lockdown, was like saying to a fish, to stop swimming. My dad went through depression quietly and developed the cancer during the pandemic. Although we transferred him to a place with less strict policies, it was too late.
With this, I asked some of my inspiring dearest senior friends, to share their insights. How they feel about our present uncertain moment, a wellness lifestyle that perhaps we can all learn from and their happiness source, that fires them up to get going.
Jose Claver “Bong” Toledo, 72, Real Estate Mogul, Philanthropist, Canada / Philippines
Challenged is the word I could think of in our current situation. I don’t mind being locked down, I dwell on creativity. I take this time as an opportunity to explore zillions of ideas. For my health, I make sure I have a good diet, an intake of 8 glasses of water daily, walk 12,000-13,000 steps a day (inside my penthouse), Qi-Gong, breathing exercises, daily physical therapy. For my mental and heart health, I chat with friends regularly, which deliver laughter and joy. My advice to everyone, you are not invincible. My happiness is my advocacy – sewing facemasks , which was intended for donation to my co-dwellers in my condominium complex. Before I knew it, we’ve sewn 50, 000 facemasks, donated to different part of the world. With this event, the Six Mask- eeters team (composed of me and my staff), was recognized by the Army of Masks in Ottawa, Canada and as COVID Hero in Mississauga, Canada.
Anicia Lazatin-Rivera, 75 years old, Educator, Philanthropist, Philippines
I don’t know what to make out of this pandemic. Hence, knowing and understanding the God I serve, He allows this to happen for the purpose of awakening. Just like during the time of Saint Francis, people abused the earth, its ecology, trees, water, sky and air. Not even realizing that we abused and took for granted our human relationship with our family, relatives, countrymen and the world.. I take advantage of this crisis, to help the less privileged and reflect on my spiritual condition. Bring joy to everybody is my delight, even to the people who don’t like you. Physical body is now discovering its limitation. Be realistic to accept your limitation, eat healthy foods, have some morning sun, be happy and safe. Knowing and experiencing the enormous love of Jesus for me, gives more than joy.
Aurora Rosalin Alcampo, 71, Artist/Painter, Canada
I feel sad about the overall sufferings around the globe. The deaths, illness, anxiety, loss of job, property, income, freedom, inflicted by the pandemic. It is heartbreaking to lose some of my freedom, to act on things I previously taken for granted for, like visiting my children and grandchildren, travelling, hugging family and friends. For health, I eat healthy, exercise regularly, take supplements and maintain a positive attitude. My suggestion to everyone, follow protocols, be diligent and always put awareness in everything that you do. My greatest happiness are my grandchildren, children, friends and sleep.
Milagros Camille Lacanlale, 77, Medical Doctor, Retired, Los Angeles, USA
This pandemic situation has really scared the wits out of everyone, young and old. I feel like we’re at war against an invisible enemy and it’s very restricting in all aspects of our lives. My public advice, develop good eating habits by having less salt, trans-fats, red meat dishes, instead eat more fruits and veggies, exercise and have adequate sleep. We should stay home as much as possible and not mingle with a large group of people. Visiting my family here in Los Angeles, going somewhere with friends, brighten my days.
Evelyn Dantes Majarais, 73, Staff Accountant, HR & Finance Supervisor, Canada
Our present situation is sad and frustrating at times. Eating healthy foods to better my immune system, following the safety measures and staying indoors as much as possible is my way of protection. I urge everyone to follow the advice of health experts and believe in science. My joy is when everyone around me is healthy and happy.
Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul. Keep your hopes high and your faith higher. A collective positive thoughts, deliver positive results. Together we can beat this crisis and the root of it all.