The Truth About Boomers Filling Each Day During the Coronavirus Pandemic, and Why It is Important to America’s Economy To Pay Attention to Us

NcovIt is May 2020, and we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19.  We Boomers have been self isolating or quarantining since the beginning of March.

We Boomers, who are grandparents, miss visiting our grandchildren and activities and outings with friends, travel, and so many activities that had consumed our lives before the pandemic. But, we are going on with our lives in isolation. We Boomers now exchange reviews of books, television series, television shows, and movies that now fill our days. We already have cleaned every closet and every cabinet in every room.  Well, for this Grandma that was most of the cabinets and closets.  My closet sits and sits, because now I know the truth. So many lists of things to do also sit, because now I know the truth.  We Boomers are in this self isolation and quarantining for the long haul.

The misinformation that we Boomers are slow to take the pandemic seriously and are not staying in isolation or quarantine have been shown to be false.  See, “Boomers Were Blase about the Coronavirus?” by Alex Stone, New York Times, May 3, 2020. He provides statistics to debunk the “false online trope” about Boomers that “became mainstream news.”

A national poll conducted in mid-March 2020 found that 87% of Boomers were practicing social distancing measures.  For those who do not know if they are Boomers, Alex Stone clarifies that Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964.   U.S. Census Bureau data provides that there are 76.4 million Boomers.  We Boomers make up about one quarter of the American population.

We Boomers are slowly coming to the realization that we cannot continue to deny that we are seniors.  We want to continue to deny that we are old.  If you have read my previous posts, you know I never use the word “old,” if I can avoid it.  I speak of friends as “long” friends.  Now, we have to face the truth.

We Boomers are more likely to have preexisting conditions and know we are at great risk if we contract the coronavirus, Covid-19.  But age and medical condition are not the only reason we are compliant and careful. In a previous post, “We Boomer Grandparents are Seventy Million Strong and Now Have the Greatest Power To Change Our World,” I concluded that, of those of us that are grandparents “[w]e 70 million strong  grandparents  now have the greatest power to change our world and have the best reason, our precious grandchildren. If not us 70 million Boomer grandparents, who?”

School, camp, playdates, activities, and more for our grandchildren has been curtailed to protect us.  We too want the world to be back to normal as much as possible for our grandchildren, and that means that we Boomers must protect ourselves to allow them to have their lives back.

Just knowing that we Boomers are in for isolation and quarantine long term is not enough reality.  What is long term? PopPop and I keep extending the time we estimate we will be living this way.  We have come to the realization that we are probably looking at years of limitations on our lives if we want to be here to watch our grandchildren grow up.

How are we spending this time?

BOOMER DAYS IN ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE ARE BUSY WITH FULFILLING OPTIONS GALORE

As different as we Boomers are, we fill our days and nights with what is fulfilling to our individual lives. We reconnect with long time friendships and renewed old relationships that remind us of our history and memories.  We share our lives now and reminisce about our lives past. Our friends and relatives keep giving us more and more options on how to spend our time, so I have included enough here for several lifetimes to choose from to share in this post.

Zoom family get-to-gethers, for holidays, celebrations, and just because, for some families, like ours, are on a planned weekly schedule for who can attend.  PopPop organized a weekly zoom extended family meeting every Sunday night at 7 pm for those who could attend.  Zoom allows one link to be used and reused each week making it easy for all of us to get together, even our niece and her family in Australia.  We marvel that it is the next day at 9 am when we see and talk to them.  This is more family time than our family, scattered across America and the world, spent together before.  It is miraculous to watch our youngest grandchild, age two, point to everyone on the screen and name them.  He is mesmerized as we all are that this experience is available to us in this social distancing world.

Our oldest grandchild, age sixteen, wonders how anyone survived without the internet during the Spanish Flu one hundred years ago.

We socialize on FaceTime and Zoom with friends and neighbors with nightly cocktail hours, with weekly games, such as on Canasta Junction and Real Mah Jong. We look forward to weekly Hearts games with our grandchildren.  See, for example, “Twelve Board Games You Can Play With Friends From Afar,” by Meilan Solly, April 20, 2020, Smithsonian Magazine.

We attend exercise classes on Zoom and on line.  See, for example, one week free trial and then $25 a month unlimited Hatha, Kundalini, Meditation, Restorative, Flow, Gentle and more yoga classes are available on myyogasource.com.  See also an offer from theskim.com, for 60 days free fitness classes with the Daily Burn, where you can stream over 2000+ workouts taught by expert, certified trainers, from individual classes to easy to follow programs, including dance, yoga, tone, meditation, barre, power cardio, abs and core and more. Ip.dailyburn.com  See also, “12 Home Workouts We Love, “ by Rosalyn Wikeley, Conde Naste Traveller.

We binge on television and movies.  New and old series and shows and movies abound. See, for example, “The 100 Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now, by Brian Tallerico, April 17, 2020, Vulture. Aso by Brian Tallerico on Vulture, April 28, 2020, “A Full 2020 Digital Movie Rental Calendar.”
We binge on entertainment of all kinds, including all genres.  See, for example,“Here’s what you can do to beat boredom if you’re stuck at home. And it has a nice tune,” by Carli Teproff and Howard Cohen, March 21, 2020. Miami Herald.  See also, the Metropolitan Opera streaming.

We practice our faiths or learn more about them with attending n line streaming services, study sessions, and more.  See, for example, The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center offerings of one-session online classes via Zoom as well as streaming on the Temple’s livestream page.

We continue lifelong learning.   See, for example, the massive offerings from One Day University on line.
See also, the offerings of lectures and classes on any topic of interest and more on the 92Y on line.
See also, “Added Value: Museums, Libraries, Zoos, and even Federal Agencies are offering lessons and activities for all ages,” by Ted Loos, New York Times, April 24, 2020.

We take cooking classes, because with time, even those of us previously expert at just making reservations are rediscovering our kitchens. See, for example,“The Best Online Cooking Classes and Tutorial from Chefs,”
by Zoe Baillargeon, April 8, 2020 “14 Cooking and Baking Projects to Tackle While You’re Social Distancing,” by Laura Rege April 13, 2020, Martha Stewart on line.

We explore new entertainment, hobbies and activities.  See, for example, “Free entertainment to help you survive coronavirus social distancing: HBO, Battlestar Galactica, MasterClass, Marvel comics, Cards Against Humanity and lots more, including movies, books, concerts, guitar lessons and exercise classes,” by Rick Broida, April 27, 2020, C/Net on line.

Those of us who love theatre enjoy Broadway shows on line. See, for example, “ A Look Back at the Best Musical Tony Award Winners From the Past 10 Years,” Broadway Direct on line.
See also, “Want to Listen to Musical Cast Albums? Our Top 10 Desert Island Picks:What we plan to listen to in perpetuity (or right now) in our Spotify-enabled isolation,” by Jesse Green and Ben Brantley, April 15, 2020, New York  Times.

We experience travel via the internet, revisiting favorite places and exploring new ones, provided in the enjoyment of one’s home.  See, for example, visit museums around the world, “Invite the Museum Into Your Home, by Jason Farago, New York Times, April 24, 2020. See also, “Tour the World Through Airbnb’s Online Experiences,” Travel Savvy.  See also, “Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home (Video):Experience some of the country’s best national parks — from Florida to Alaska — right from your couch,” by Andrea Romano, April 16, 2020, Travel and Leisure.  See also, “7 Most Scenic Train Rides,” around the world to go via the internet thanks to Smartours.

We become refreshed with inspiration and support, including from psychologists. See, for example, Momentem on line webinars and experiences. We can attend our doctors’ appointments, which previously took up hours of wait times at doctors’ offices, scheduled at set times by video or telephone.

And, when we all need a laugh, there are comedy shows galore. See, for example, “The Best Stand-Up Comedy Specials on Netflix,” by Liam Mathews, April 22,2020, TV Guide.

So, we Boomers can isolate and quarantine with more to do than would fill up several lifetimes. But there is something that I have not heard that is something important for America to ponder about us Boomers in reopening the economy.

THE TRUTH WE ARE NOT HEARING IS THAT THE ECONOMY IS NOT GOING TO RECOVER WITHOUT US BOOMERS SAFELY REJOINING AMERICAN LIFE

We Boomers are 25% of the American population, but account for 40% of total consumer demand!

We Boomers control more than 75% of America’s wealth (ICSC)!

We Boomers have most of the net worth of American households!

We Boomers are a force, even in isolation.  America may be opening for most, whether prematurely or not, but we Boomers explore other options right now.  Until we Boomers are certain we can safely rejoin the economy, the economy is not going to recover without us.

We Boomers are motivated to again hug our grandchildren, but we can wait until America is safe for us to rejoin the economy because our lives are still full in the meantime.  We hear that America is social distancing to keep us Boomers alive, but we fail to hear that the economy depends on America being safe for us to rejoin the economy.  This is an impetus for America to follow scientists’ lead and requirements in reopening America that we have not heard about.

We Boomers still have the world at our fingertips so America should not forget that it needs us safely back in the world!

Joy,

Mema

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