The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed how all of us live and work and play and interact, in some ways temporarily... and in other ways perhaps more permanently.
In the March 18th issue of this Local Cancer Community Update I wrote:
Earlier this week I found myself removing the flyers for scheduled TLC Supportive Community events and SCCCF Survive, Thrive & Be Fit activities from the bulletin boards in our exam rooms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As I stared at these now empty bulletin boards... I felt an emptiness already growing inside of me!
In addition to the many TLC Supportive Community gatherings and Survive, Thrive & Be Fit activities that have been suspended, we’ve had to cancel or postpone several SCCCF fundraising events such as the Cancer Crusade and the Woodlake Spring Fashion Event (watch for final decisions regarding the possible rescheduling of these events)! And, although SCCCF’s Flowers for the Fund spring flower sale featuring Caan’s Floral products continued as planned, circumstances have had a significant and adverse effect on sales and proceeds. NOTE: I placed the final order earlier this week, but I did order a few extra baskets and vouchers... so please contact me if you are still interested in supporting this cause!
Yep, so much has changed in such a short period of time, as I was reminded of when I recently read this note from Linda Ansay, one of our ST&BF survivor-athlete/rowers, “I can't wait for the group to be able to row together again. My last memory is the row back across Lake Michigan and how fun and exhausted I was! Such a good workout!”
Since offering a “test” of the TLC Local Cancer Community VIRTUAL Update on Tuesday, April 7th, cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors have been connecting with one another several times a week. And, as you can see from the submissions to SCCCF’s ST&BF Survivorship Through the Lens “Surviving, Thriving & Staying Fit Amidst COVID-19” that can be found on our website (www.scccf.org/contests), many aera survivor-athletes are finding ways to continue “Making Sheboygan County the Healthiest Place to Survive Cancer”!
As for those bare bulletin boards, they are gradually starting to fill up! For now, they are promoting a variety of VIRTUAL opportunities including the TLC Local Cancer Community VIRTUAL Updates and TLC VIRTUAL Survivorship Sessions. Following one of those sessions Bob Hartig responded, “Thank you for organizing the session last night. I really appreciate the chance to connect with others. It’s also reassuring to see the bulletin boards filling up again with activities!”
This past Monday we offered the first SCCCF Survive, Thrive & Be Fit Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors VIRTUAL Session! Granted, most of us would have preferred to attend in person (although there are benefits of being able to practice in the comfort and convenience of your own home) it was a very enjoyable experience as described by Barb Bogenschutz, “I really enjoyed yoga via Zoom tonight! I felt that I got a real good practice and it was lots of fun. It obviously would be nicer to practice with everyone together at the clinic in the conference room but until we can meet together again the Zoom meeting is a great alternative. It was nice seeing everyone again.”
I am anxious to fill those bulletin boards with “in person” gatherings, events and activities once again! But, at least for now, I hope you will consider alternative ways to connect with others VIRTUALLY. And, honestly, even after most restrictions are lifted and we find ourselves together for a TLC Supportive Community Gathering or when we can once again come together to Survive, Thrive & Be Fit by doing yoga together, or rowing together, or enjoying some “Steps to Survivorship”... there will likely be a place for these VIRTUAL connections to further supplement and enhance our gatherings and activities!
At this morning’s TLC Local Cancer Community VIRTUAL Update a few thoughts about reinstating future events and activities appropriately, safely and in accordance with Wisconsin’s “Badger Bounce Back” Plan. (Follow this link to review: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/prepare.htm.) I hope to provide more details in next week’s Local Cancer Community Update!
How to Join a TLC Local Cancer Community VIRTUAL Update Session on Zoom:
I have a bit of space available, so I thought I would fill it with an invitation to view an intriguing Ted Talk that I think offers a thoughtful perspective.
From www.ted.ccom: If you had to explain to a newborn what it means to be a human being living on Earth in the 21st century, what would you say? Visual artist Oliver Jeffers put his answer in a letter to his son, sharing pearls of wisdom on existence and the diversity of life. He offers observations of the "beautiful, fragile drama of human civilization" in this poetic talk paired with his original illustrations and animations.