ELDER MUSIC: Home is Where the Heart Is
A TGB READER STORY: Sometimes I Forget

Not About the Virus

Believe it or not, there are other things besides the virus going on in public and in private that affect elders and warrant a mention. Here are a handful.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that Tax Day has been delayed until 15 July 2020. In addition, he tweeted,

”All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

However, if you expect a refund, you can file your tax return anytime earlier and a check will be sent when your return is processed.

You can read more at Yahoo! Finance.

My Census form arrived on Friday. Well, it isn't a form. It is a letter with my census ID and a website where I could fill in my questionnaire.

I was amused when I noticed that the letter referred to my “invitation to respond” but the envelope states in bold print, “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW.”

It was an easy questionnaire that I finished in under five minutes. Be sure to respond to your “invitation” by 1 April.

Some of you who have been around this blog for a long time might recall that when I was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, I instantly gave up the daily 45-minute exercise routine I had hated doing for many years.

From that moment forward, for two years I was diligent about not working out each morning. I never missed a day. Then I went to pulmonary rehab last October. In addition to some breathing techniques, it's all about exercise.

I graduated from rehab at the end of January but I was more hit-and-miss about exercise (a day or two a week) and didn't get serious about my new at-home routine (which I had devised for myself with the help of the nurses at rehab) until the end of February.

By then, I was having mild but increasing breathing problems of the kind I hadn't experienced since before rehab. So I got serious about morning exercise.

It is not nearly as hard as my old, years-long routine but it is difficult enough for this 78-year-old with two deadly diseases to benefit from. I could feel the difference in my breathing by the morning after the first workout and now, three weeks later, I am breathing as well as when I left rehab.

I pass all this on to say that while we are stuck at home we should make time every day, or every other day, to get in some mild exercise – something that your own body and condition allow you to do.

When I first went to rehab, I did not believe exercise while sitting in a chair (which is about 60 percent of my routine) could be useful. Wow, did those nurses prove me wrong from day one. But it sure does pay off.

TGB reader Karin L. Bendel asked on Friday how virus things are going here in Oregon. As of Saturday morning when I'm writing this, there are just over 100 confirmed cases of the Corona virus in Oregon and three deaths.

Governor Kate Brown, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Commission Chair Deborah Kafoury have been working together on an order to help limit new infections, reported Q13Fox:

“'This is not a lockdown. This will be a stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary order,' Wheeler said, adding that people can still walk their dog, go to the pharmacy, grocery store and get takeout.”

“The officials said they would draft the specifics over the weekend and would provide more details on Monday.”

Also, I received an email from Safeway supermarket (where my pharmacy is located) on Saturday advising that cash register aisles are being fitted with self-checkout counters.

I'm keeping in touch with friends everywhere by email and phone. How about you?

On Thursday, someone named anon and on Friday a person named Amanda Smith, left an identical comment:

”you boomers are shutting down the entire economy because you're afraid of a flu. Seriously, can you boomers kill yourselves? You are the most selfish generation to ever exist. You don't give a shit about climate change, why should we young people give a shit if you get sick and die of some virus? I HOPE the virus gets much stronger and kills you all.”

I left the two comments up until Saturday just so we know how some people are spending their time in regard to the virus. If I could say anything to them, I'd send both to all the video of, ahem, YOUNG PEOPLE crowded on beaches in Florida.

Besides being beyond the pale, the two comments led some readers astray from the day's topic, falls prevention, when I had hoped some would have more good suggestions for keeping safe from falls.

So on Saturday, I removed the two comments along with all references to them in other comments. So if part or all of your comment is now missing, you know the reason.

If there are more such drive-by comments in the future, I will delete them as soon as I see them.


Oh me too, Ronni. I have stopped PT for various pains associated with sitting in poor postures. And I'm still sitting here at computer and sort of stretching...but I know I should be doing that routine that my physical therapist devised for me. I also am thinking how he's probably not able to practice at this time because of the Covid-19 virus. The last time I saw him, I asked to use hand sanitizer after coughing into my hand and was about to try a thera-band technique, using his equipment. I usually cough into my sleeve, but didn't have long sleeves on. We had spent several months on a weekly basis and he gave me such useful exercises...and I really must do them! Self care is sometimes hard where there are distractions around. I've found listening to an audio book helps.

We're all getting those "You boomers ..." comments., and have been off and on for a long time. I tried to understand the Millennial point of view in my post from a couple of years ago "You Baby Boomers ..." It's on my Popular Posts list. Millennials have some legitimate complaints about how things have gone in this country, but nobody needs the spiteful, resentful, hate-filled spam that just doesn't seem to die.

I read your exercise thoughts a couple times over, to make the reality of things set in. I’m not dealing with COPD or pancreatic cancer, but did develop a couple health conditions 15 months ago, been allowing myself to go to pot (of the belly kind, not cannabis). I’m doing a cut & paste of this to my desktop, as a reminder I need to get off my sofa.

In the last year or so, have been seeing more & more of these ‘blame the Boomers’ diatribes… it’s pretty disconcerting. As a white man born in a Protestant middle-class family in 1961, I’ve lived a pretty hate-free life. (Well, I did get bullied in middle school for being a lefty!) Last week, someone showed me an entire Reddit discussion where people were calling the Covid-19 virus “Boomer Remover”. Sure is ugly & shocking.

Our PBS station airs 30 minutes of Sit and Be Fit every morning at 5:30 am. Obviously, I don’t exercise at that time so I record it and do it every day at a more congenial time. It focuses on slow, gentle movements which help with flexibility, balance, and strength. It has just become part of my morning routine.

I am very active with a progressive group. We have a facebook page that is only open to our members because we have found that there are those "types" of individuals who like to spout hateful things no matter what the subject is. One of my activities in the group is to review who asks to join - we have over a 1000 members.... it is interesting when you go thru their previous facebook postings and link into their friends who post with them. I can say that about 99% of these type of individuals have many friends who spout the same thing....we just decline them and ignore them....they are not important enough to pay any attention to.

I hadn't thought much about exercising until you mentioned it this morning. Perhaps I'll give it a try. Being in a lockdown situation here at the ALF, and not being permitted to congregate with my fellow residents is starting to take its toll. While writing my blog keeps me from getting bored, it's doing nothing for my health. Quarantined in a 20x12 foot room is not conducive to a good place to work out. I'll have to devise some way of exercising using what I have here. Which isn't much.

I have had a recumbent bicycle in my bedroom for many years. I do 3 half hours a day while watching tv news etc. Also do chair yoga, I'm in lock down by choice. Venture out minimally for a mental health drive for a change of scene. Gratefully a younger chum keeps me out of grocery store by doing that for me. I've also had things delivered. I'm in touch with friends, family daily via phone and texting. I'm very grateful for the caring community I live in😊

Loved your title, "Not About the Virus"! It gave me a chuckle. I've discovered the hard way that too much news could be as bad for me as the virus. Why do most talking heads have to sound so dog gone jumped up, like they're mainlining caffeine all day? Well, they probably are mainlining caffeine all day, and then, the worse they make everything sound, the more they'll scare us into staying tuned in. Or so they might think. The Black Plague back in the Middle Ages was probably more terrible than the Corona, but at least people didn't have to hear about it every minute of the day. And we don't have to hear about the Corona virus all day, either! Yay, Halleleuia!

So exercise, I still dance some and walk a lot. And garden. Oh, and painting a large, or even medium canvas is really a lot of exercise, on your feet, to-ing and fro-ing, arms working. And every form of exercise is good, and especially good for my outlook.

Just got back from town..........was surprised at all the produce and food available. Are people going to eat toilet paper, or what???? Not really, I don't think. Going to town makes me nervous........all those invisible germs, should I do my hands now? What about the steering wheel, the door handle, god, did I touch my face? Yikes.

Okay, now let's all exercise, or turn on some great music and dance, and if Ronni says chair exercises work, let's youtube chair exercises. Gotta keep that immune system happy!

Good reminder about the exercises. I didn't follow through consistently after my PT sessions either so yes time to get doing! So far knitting has been my main exercise and cooking along with procrastination. My guitar is looking at me sadly "pick me up" and as for the treadmill.... Really, everything I need is right here. Thank you for the metaphorical kick in the pants.
Stay well!

Wife and I are parents of "Boomers" ... and we plan on stayin' around as long as possible.
Our 70th comes up in November and we do plan on bein' around for #75.
So as nonagenarians at 95 and 91 we offer the "complainer(s)" our aged "middle finger" as we just might outlive him or her!

Emiel aka Emiliano aka Ole Guy

I have taken to watching C-SPAN for news. It's very calm and no political point of view expressed -- except by the speakers and, subtly, the reporters. No one to interpret what they're saying. It's also interesting to listen to press questions -- makes me understand a bit more why the speakers feel attacked.

When I watch news on various cable stations, there are always agitated talking heads backing up their stories with the worst possible clips and photos of the person or situation they're reporting on. None of these shows, left or right, even try to present news without an editorial point of view.

Yes, the virus is something to fear, especially here in Seattle, but part of this reporting is like the fear-mongering that happens when there's a tornado someplace.

I could probably work off some of the agitation I pick up by exercising, even while watching. I do get sucked in sometimes. I have a great exercise bike right where I can watch TV, and I have told myself that I only get to watch TV if I'm also biking. This doesn't work out well. Same for listening to audio books. I am reminding myself here. I, too, record "Sit and Be Fit," but....

Thanks, Ronni, for reminding us. My knee is getting cranky.

I’ve been getting those comments, some with much longer content I don’t even bother to read after the familiar first line or two, but many times identical to those seen on other blogs. I’m inclined to think they come from a bot(s) with words specifically designed to inflame others in an effort to create generational dissent.

Much to be said for the benefits of exercising I would agree. I think of family friend who lived to be 103. In their earlier years she and her husband measured the distance walking around the perimeter of the small rectangular covered concrete patio outside their mobile home. When it rained, or they were no longer able to walk their favored paths through the desert, they walked a known predetermined distance on their patio. She continued to do this after his death, then after she had a slight stroke and used a walker. Eventually, with increasing balance problems therapy was unable to correct, she did adapt to chair exercises which were clearly beneficial as you describe.

I'm interested in doing a psylocibin session and have found the webpage for the OPS but don't see a way to contact a practitioner. I live near Portland and don't know if this is the correct way to ask this question!



Psylocybin is a Schedule One drug in the United States, illegal for personal use, and for medical research without governmental permission. There are no legal "practitioners" so you will not find anyone listed online.

I would report that comment. If possible, I would also look up the URL or location of the comment.

I love exercise. Since I retired, I released 25 lbs. I need to exercise not only for weight maintenance but also for my beginning arthritis. Exercise is a mood enhancer. I've also made friends/aquaintances thru exercise. I always feel great after I exercise! Exercise is a win-win-win for me.

I loathe exercise, always have. And the prize for that is that I'm so deconditioned (without COPD or other related diagnoses) I have practically no stamina, and it ain't getting better. I tried walking for 10 minutes every day a couple of years ago, every single day for maybe 35 days, and couldn't seem to get myself to walk *slower* and, in addition to hating it, while I gained the ability to walk longer without stopping to catch my breath, I also gave myself sciatica. NOT amused. I'd love to know your exercise routine, Ronni!

Since we've been locked down (two weeks for people over 65 and one week for everyone) in San Francisco, I've actually been getting good exercise walking, which is allowed with careful 6 foot spacing. Now I've returned to a route out my door which I had given up because of increased traffic some years ago -- almost no cars these days! Thanks to Florence for the mention of Sit and Be Fit; I looked it up on YouTube and found one with exercises for a condition I have in my feet.

I love learning of new resources in myself and from others in this time. Anyone else becoming fluent in Zoom?

I was shocked by the ugly comment on Saturday and did not realize that was a common occurrence on many sites. So thanks for educating me, readers. There I was crafting a snarky remark about going to join your friends at the Florida beaches (great minds think alike, Ronni) when I saw you had removed the comment. Good riddance!
As for exercise, I took a short walk last week and immediately reinvited my plantar fasciatis into my right food which had been behaving for over a year. So this week I took to floor exercises from my yoga class and managed to strain my back muscles. I'm thinking that exercise is too dangerous for me. Back to swinging my feet in front of the TV.....

Yes, I downloaded Zoom yesterday. Aren't we old ones clever?

About Blaming Old Folks - I think these posts are not real people but bots and you are correct to delete them. They are promoting the social divisiveness in our society.
In my own personal experience I have found many of the younger generation not only helpful but solicitous of my senior experience.

Thank you for continuing to write. I’m far behind in reading anything that isn’t required (for work) reading. I chuckled last night (3.23) when Judy Woodruff on PBS suggested we had more time, I guess bec many are at home and not commuting, to read. With a home office since 1981’s start of my biz, I seem now to have far less time.

I was in OR for 4 days btw awful travel to get to and from. I kept a commitment to speak at a conference. We physically [preferred by WHO to “social” bc we need each other] distanced badly tho we elbowed v hugged. That plus planes and airports and exhaustion and returning to massive client mishegoss has done me in.

How are all of you readers keeping COVID19 learning & implications are a distance?

Oh and it’s yutes who seem to think if you’re on a beach you can be safe unless you’re a NYer headed for previously not locked down FL who are doing damage. Feh on them.

At a distance in hopes of TP returning I wish you all well.
Joan, in DC, where we distance despite the new directive to maybe loosen this up

Thanks Ronni, what a respite from this craziness you and your page are.
I too have been negligent in my prescribed pro therapy regimen. Along with a grumpy spouse and other problems ,I find relief and common sense here,

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