Thursday, April 9, 2020

Remote Meetings (Liz and Joan)

The coronavirus pandemic is a difficult time for seniors and older buds, but not just because they're more at risk. With more and more places on lockdown or in quarantine or under stay-at-home orders, our daily routines are replaced with phone calls, remote work and video conferencing. Several older buds are familiar with using the internet, social media, and conferencing, but many of them aren't. Some of them don't know how to use these and others prefer in-person interaction. Nonetheless, it's the older buds who can't move everything online who are left behind.

Yesterday, I called older bud Joan on the phone. Both her daughters have been providing her with groceries and regularly calling her, and she's been able to exercise on her apartment's fire escape. Both her daughters also bought her four jigsaw puzzles for her to finish during the lockdown, and she has crosswords and word search puzzles to keep her mind sharp. The one thing she hasn't been able to do was go to church.

Joan's a devout Christian, and the Church was the only one who helped her when her husband abused her. Mass and Bible-study are an essential part of her life. Luckily, her church is holding its masses and Bible study sessions through Zoom. Joan doesn't use Zoom, but her church gave her a phone number so she could call into the meeting. She told me that she'd much prefer to go to church in person than call in, but she's willing to give it a try.

I've heard this from older buds inside and outside Best Day. The public sphere is important to them, and chatrooms or video streams just aren't the same, so what do they do? Do they plunge into teleconferencing, often for the very first time? Do they throw caution to the wind and meet in person? Or do they wait it out for who knows how long. As a blogger, I encourage all older buds to move online, but I also know that takes a lot of time and hard work.

In the meantime, we're still moving forward and transcribing the older buds' stories. We hope you enjoy this piece from older buds Liz and Joan:

Liz Abrams

What Do You Know About Where You Live

Relocating to South Philly central, I felt out of place. The apartment building I live was occupied by older Americans who lived, educated, married, raised their children & grandchildren, They were Longtime neighbors with their own memories, schools, families, speech patterns, familiar with all things that matter, entertainment, all the events that usually keep people in their comfort zone. It would be the same for me but unfortunately in my home neighborhood of North Philly has been devastated by Temple University Corporation. My home where I was born, was razed and demolished, once a 3 story apt building is now a vacant lot for abandoned cars. No homes are for sale, since they were purchased in the 80’s in the city & developers agreement sold to Temple University, for Temple student housing & apts, rentals stadiums and the like.

My new home in South Philly, getting used to my new neighbors, changed overnight, all I see today, miraculously is the same people I left in the suburbs white people, career, & students, condos dogs & bikes, - no children, no folks sitting on steps conversing. Just new people for this new city called Phila/ The Land of the Gentry

Which I guess includes me

Joan Bunting

                  Heaven is where I want to be, when I leave

this troubled world.

                  Where peace, joy, and happiness lies

with gates made of pearls. 

                  There are thousands and thousands of angels there

singing praises to the Lord.

                  And I’ll eagerly join The choir where we’ll all

be on one accord.

                  There’ll be no more crying, dying heartbreak or


                  There will only be peace in heaven where my

Jesus reign.

                  Just to see His face, kneel at his feet to give

praise and thanks for All He’s done for me,

                  For saving my soul, for making me whole, for

dying on Calvary.

As always, keep in touch with the important people in your life, especially the older buds. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. If they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs.
You can share your older buds' stories through our portal right here, and you can volunteer as a transcriber (completely remotely) by emailing us at If you're an older bud yourself, you can share your story through this portal right here. And if you're just plain passionate about supporting older buds and ending senior isolation, then like us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and share links to your favorite stories. And check us out on 6ABC news, too! Thanks for reading.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri