As members of the species Homo sapiens, the need for social connectedness is part of our DNA.  Like most residents, one of the attractions that brought us to Kendal at Lexington was the vibrant community, populated with so many talented people with interesting life experiences.  But, unfortunately, the arrival of the unique COVID-19 pandemic has upset that apple-cart.

Gone are the opportunities to socialize during meals, the Tuesday Wine and Conversation sessions, the dinner parties in The Restaurant, preceded by drinks and appetizers in a resident’s abode, not to mention the lectures and Kendal College events in Kendal Hall, and outings to local eateries and to cultural sites & events.

What to do?  Here are some things that have helped me through this trying time in history.  To keep connected (masked and socially distanced, of course), I have:

  • Scheduled regular Zoom calls with my kids and grandkids;
  • Participated in video conferences with distant friends, and with college classmates;
  • Started, or revived, projects I was previously too busy for, such as writing a memoir (VMI’s Memoir Project); introducing a new digital communication platform (CATIE Web); updating my estate plan; and joining several more KaLex Standing Committees and interest groups;
  • The Residents Council and KaLex staff have designated several “Conversation Pods” indoors and outdoors (e.g., Sunnyside Patio and the new Anderson Deck), which I have used for both planned and serendipitous (socially distanced) meetings;
  • Ventured out for more frequent walks with other residents, and even an occasional “good walk spoiled” with friends at the Lexington Golf & Country Club.

Each activity offered the chance to interact with others, and reduced my feeling of isolation.  I am not the only resident to try these things, and hope that residents who may not yet have tried such endeavors will improve their Social Wellness by giving one or more of them a try.

 – – By Resident John South, for the Wellness Committee – Connections December 2020

A sneak preview of John’s article, above, prompted some thoughts of my own.  If exercising for fitness is your thing, KaLex’s Fitness Center classes, or a workout with friends in the weight room, can provide additional opportunities for “getting social.”  During COVID of course, Fitness Center offerings are by appointment only, and you’d need to contact Victoria or Kristen to learn what might be available.  I’m a big fan of the water classes: Aqua Aerobics, and Pool Strength and Stretch.  Picture a “coffee break” atmosphere in the swimming pool, with us participants chatting and laughing as we splash through routines set to upbeat music.  It’s an excellent way to boost oneself out of a funk!

– – By Resident Elsa Burrowes– – Connections December 2020