As president of Réseau FADOQ but also as a senior and grandmother, I feel I need to talk to you about mutual support and hope a week after Quebec was put on hold due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
If we can, let’s put aside our feelings of fear and anxiety and comfort ourselves with the stories of mutual support that have grown in number since the crisis began.
You’re not alone, you know.
There is a wave of solidarity currently sweeping Quebec that will help us get through these troubled times. I’m thinking of all the healthcare employees who work day and night to care for us. Those who make the 2-1-1 line available to meet your essential needs. Those dedicated to maintaining the food supply. The students in Quebec City who are filling up their forced days off by setting up a grocery packing and delivery service for seniors confined to their homes.
I’m also thinking of all the support groups on social networks where people of all ages volunteer to go grocery shopping for seniors in their neighbourhood. All the families who are taking care of their loved ones confined at home, in residential and long-term care centres, or private seniors’ residences by making small, thoughtful gestures, phone calls, and FaceTime or Skype calls. Florence K, who moved us all by singing La vie en rose in front of the window of the residence where her grandmother lives. All the museums, libraries, cinemas, theatres, and performance venues that have put works online to replace cultural outings.
Réseau FADOQ is also joining this wave of support by making courtesy calls to its members age 80 and over to make sure they’re safe. The goal is to contact these members to make sure they have access to the necessary resources to meet their basic needs. At Réseau FADOQ, we want to be part of the solution.
All the actions we’re taking together help break the isolation in these times of confinement and encourage seniors to comply with the Legault government’s request to stay home. Complying with this request is so important. As president of the largest seniors’ organization in Canada, it is my duty to ask you to stay home. The situation should not be taken lightly—statistics show that COVID-19 is very virulent among seniors. I know it can be especially hard to change your habits, not go out for your daily coffee, and be away from your family and the activities you love so much.
But tell yourself that by complying with the request to stay home, you’re respecting yourself and your loved ones by protecting them from COVID-19. You’re also setting a good example for your grandchildren and those around you by being strong, courageous, and supportive. We all need to have this sense of social awareness.
And I’ll remind you again that you’re not alone. There are so many resources available to you. Réseau FADOQ has compiled a list of them in collaboration with Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. You will find this list on our website.
So together, let’s listen to our government and spread information, not the virus. Let’s continue to help each other and stop this accursed pandemic.