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Seniors reflect on Covid-19 pandemic

A senior said yesterday he is on high alert in a day-to-day battle to avoid Covid-19 infection.

David DeSilva, 72, added he had a serious medical condition as well as in the age group most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Mr DeSilva, who owns the photography business the Mall Studio in Washington Mall in Hamilton said he had to take “extra, extra precautions”.

He explained: “As seniors, we are most at risk, so obviously I am concerned because I am a senior.

“Not only am I a senior, but I'm a senior with a health condition and so it's kind of frightening.”

Mr DeSilva, from Southampton, added: “I have a compromised immune system so, of course, it requires me to be careful because this virus attacks your breathing and what have you.”

Mr DeSilva added: “This virus is more difficult to fight off for somebody that has a compromised immune system, so that's the reason why I am taking extra, extra precaution.

“I am pretty much staying close to home, with the exception of going to the supermarket to pick up groceries, because we all have to eat. I'm not getting close to anybody.”

Experts have warned that people aged 65 years and older and people of any age who already have serious medical conditions might be at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

Brenda Blankendal, 79, from Pembroke, said she faced the same problems as Mr DeSilva.

Ms Blankendal, who has Parkinson's disease, admitted: “It makes me nervous knowing I am more at risk than others.”

Ms Blankendal added: “I talk to my friends and family by phone and avoid having anyone over or going out for a drive. I don't recall having experienced anything like this before.”

Jeananne McConnie, 73, Mr DeSilva's sister, said she had also taken precautions in an attempt to avoid infection.

She added: “I am being cautious and also careful of my surroundings. I haven't been around anybody or crowds of people. Even though I was in the shop shopping nobody was close to me. But you still wonder because there is a little bit of paranoia.”

Ms McConnie, from Sandys, added: “I am dealing with it the best I can, but it's a little confusing to me.”

She highlighted that panic shopping added to the stress of the crisis for older people.

Ms McConnie said: “All of a sudden, it's special hours you have to go to the grocery store and people also seem to be panic shopping, and that's definitely not me. The parking lot was full of people and it almost makes you feel like not being a part of that.

“It's like a lot of confusion and it doesn't have to be.”

Ms McConnie added she was also concerned by the reckless spreading of rumours which caused extra anxiety.

She said: “People tend to send around stuff on social media that's not true and it's alarming. I made a decision that I'm not going to be party to that. I am just going to be watching the news.”

Ms McConnie added: “It is intimidating and you have to wonder where all of this came from all of a sudden. “I have senior friends I talk to and a lot of them are not as a calm and peaceful as me. But I feel to myself if you do what you are supposed to do then you should be OK.”

No contact: senior Brenda Blankendal maintains social-distancing (Photograph by Colin Thompson)

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Published March 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm (Updated March 31, 2020 at 12:56 pm)

Seniors reflect on Covid-19 pandemic

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