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Lessons Learned through the Pandemic

I love snowstorms, but it’s probably not for the reason you think. Sure, there is nothing more beautiful than glistening snowflakes falling onto every surface, but the real magic for me hits when the snow stops.

I live in town and I’m blessed with great neighbors. We are all cordial and respect one another’s space and privacy. But, for the 15 plus years I’ve lived here, I love what happens when the storm winds down and we have a beautiful blanket of pristine snow out our windows. There is a stillness and purity in the air. Everything seems to stop and everyone comes outside. The only noise you hear is the sound of metal shovels on the sidewalk, a snow blower off in the distance, and the sound of neighbors taking advantage of time to actually talk to one another.

As the eternal optimist that I am, I tried to relate what was happening with social distancing during the pandemic to my idyllic snowstorm scenario. We did see people helping other people like never before. Check that off the list. News reports showed a return of fish to the always-polluted Grand Canal and less pollution. Check the pristine nature box. Traffic slowed and life felt quieter. Check again. Although it may have felt like a time to recharge for some of us, for seniors and other high-risk populations, this was a time of extreme social isolation and anxiety. It was always a time of fear and death for friends and loved ones.

So what did we learn from all of this in relation to those high risk populations?

We learned A LOT and we discovered, like so many other industries that we have a lot of work to do before the next crisis hits. PA Link received a COVID-19 grant from the Administration on Community Living to do further research on what we need to do locally to be better prepared in the future. We are thankful to have several local advocates serving on the Grant Task Force. Hopefully, it will be a long time before another crisis hits. But the goal is to be better prepared to protect and connect our most vulnerable populations.

If you need help understanding the resources available, please feel free to reach out to the PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource Center for a listing of services available in your community. Please call our toll-free Call Center at 1-800-753-8827 or email me at

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