Seniors savor the chance to get out
"It's been one year and six days since we last played cards here," Joanne Myrvik announced to the dozen area seniors who gathered at the Minneota Senior Center on Friday afternoon.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, gathering places such as the Senior Center were shut down, limiting further the number of activities and social gathering locations for seniors.
"It's important that we get together like this," said Larry DeSmet. "It's fun to see everyone here."
Myrvik, the Senior Center coordinator, opened the doors again last week to a daily schedule similar to pre-pandemic days.
"(The pandemic) caused isolation for our seniors, most of whom are alone," she said. "In August, we started exercise classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays while employing safe practices.”
"Next came Bingo on Thursdays. After a time they asked if they could also play Bingo on Tuesday afternoons so they could get out and socialize. Then the seniors started asking to play cards again."
On March 12, the seniors met and discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that they should start playing cards again."It gives us something to do," Omer Laleman. "I walk every day, so I might just as well stop here and play cards and have a little fun."
"It is so good for the seniors to be out and about and able to visit in person," said Bob Gorecki.
For Myrvik, it has been an important step for her and others to return to some sort of normalcy after a year of being stalled due to the pandemic.
"This is just a building, but it's like a second home to me," Myvrik said. "I'm a people person and I need people here. We need each other."
Myrvik told of the first day the seniors returned on Tuesday for exercise class.
"I was tired when I went home," she said. "But I was also exhilarated because we were having activities again."
Currently, the Senior Center schedule and fee is:
Mondays - Mahjong, 1 p.m. (50 cents).
Tuesday - Exercise, 10 a.m. (50 cents); "500", 1 p.m. ($1.50).
Thursday - Exercise, 10 a.m. (50 cents), Bingo, 1 p.m. ($1).
Friday - "500", 1 p.m. ($1.50); Bien, 1 p.m. ($1.50); Bridge, 1 p.m. ($1.50)
For those wishing to play "500", please call in by noon to Joanne at 872-6604 or the Sr. Center at 872-5262. For those wishing to participate in Bien, call Omer at 872-6088. For those wishing to play Bridge, call Marilyn at 872-6815. The fee for cards and Bingo includes coffee and a treat.