The Villages-News.com site was prescient in publishing my remarks March 5 (“Changing our habits could help protect our health”), but, unfortunately, they, and my emails to them, have not budged Village officials to more publicly formalize an announcement on ways for Villagers to more fully protect themselves against the spread of the Coronavirus, particularly since it disproportionately affects an older population as is found in The Villages and the activities undertaken by thousands of its residents.
My thesis focused on minimizing, or preventing, skin-to-skin contact as typically occurs, for example, after opposing teams at the end of a softball game give each other “high-fives” or picklers after their matches coming to the net to do the same with the opposing team members.
No doubt other recreational activities involve the same type of contact, and, to be sure, The Villages population is not a typical nationwide community population where the virus continues to spread for which the CDC and local public health officials have issued generic warnings, like washing hands, using hand wipes and sanitizers, and staying home when sick.
I mentioned in what I wrote examples of how such contact is being eliminated in other contexts such as pro basketball players eliminating the high five after their games. Now add to that list college coaches and their team members if what I saw the other evening after the Duke-UNC game is any (further) example.
After his team won, Coach K of Duke merely did a “fist bump” to UNC’s coaches and players. The airwaves are also now full of warnings to NOT handshake, since skin to skin contact is a ready petri dish to spread the potential for disease. Why Village officials won’t take the lead in this regard not only on behalf of all its residents, but as a leader among all retirement communities nationwide, is puzzling at a minimum and a showing a total disregard and irresponsibility of leadership to its citizenry at the other end.
Miles Zaremski is a resident of the Village of Dunedin.