By Michelle Alexander
As winter weather approaches and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic still looms before us, it’s important to stay vigilant to protect the well-being of ourselves and others in our community.
It’s essential to continue to follow the practices recommended by public health experts such as proper hand washing techniques, wearing masks, and standing at least 6 to 10 feet apart.
Social connection is just as essential for our overall well-being. It is possible to stay socially connected while also staying physically distanced. Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 50 Plus Program recognizes that essential need and has been safely providing opportunities for social connection while physically distancing through a variety of programs in our facilities, outside and virtually for the past many months. From computer classes, to fitness classes, educational presentations, small special events and more, we are doing all we can to help you, our friends and neighbors, maintain that essential need of social interaction at a safe distance.
If you crave that in-person connection, we adhere to strict cleaning guidelines and work with our instructors and staff to provide physical separation among participants. Participation numbers have been limited, individuals are provided with their own supply kits, or when necessary, are required to bring their own, such as a yoga mat.
All opportunities can be found by visiting jcprd. com/50plus. For those not comfortable being in any space with a group, our online options have been well attended and well-reviewed. The great thing about our online classes is you can invite a friend or family member in another city or another state to join you! Visit jcprd. com/50plusvirtual for a list of all that is available. Be sure to sign up for our Explore 50 Plus e-newsletter at jcprd.com/enewsletters as we continue to seek ways to creatively and safely offer ways to engage this winter.
Whether you connect through JCPRD or elsewhere, finding a path to stay socially engaged is vital to maintaining good health. Even simple connections such as waving to those we pass on an evening walk, calling a family member or neighbor just to say hello or raising your eyebrows in greeting to another (smile with your eyes) can all make a difference.
Stay safe, stay physically distanced where necessary, and most importantly, stay social.
Michelle Alexander is manager of the 50 Plus Program at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.