Correct in postponing bridge group
March 23, 2020

Joan Hatem-Roy, Chief Executive Officer

Q: I belong to a bridge card group that meets twice a month. Last week most of the members decided we should hold off on getting together for awhile in consideration of each other’s health. One member thought we were over-reacting. Were we right in making this decision?

A: Putting an end to traditions can be difficult for some people to adjust to. In this particular instance the members of your card group were absolutely correct. These are unsettling times and in consideration of the ongoing spread of Covid-19 social distancing is imperative in attempts to slow community transmission of the virus.

For weeks there has been a tremendous output of information about steps to take regarding proper hand washing, effective products to use in cleaning surfaces (door knobs, light switches, phones, faucets…) and other ways to protect yourself and others. Recently experts in the field of epidemiology and government officials have also been stressing the importance of social distancing.

Social distancing is essentially putting space between yourself and others…6 feet. For the time being handshakes, “high-fives”, fist bumps, and hugs should be off limit. It is a time to remember the value and emotion that can be portrayed in a sincere smile or wave.

Social interaction as we have known it in the past needs to be put on hold until the virus is no longer a threat. People should avoid mass gatherings and large crowds. Be respectful of each person’s personal space. There are going to be disappointments for all of us when we are notified special events are being cancelled. Realize this is an attempt to protect everyone and contain the growth of the virus.

There are still ways to keep in contact with people by face-timing, phone calls, emails, texting and perhaps reviving the old way of actually writing letters to those who are important to us. Mention to members of your group they may want to consider playing bridge on-line for the immediate future.


Are you struggling caring for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our staff is available for a no-cost consultation, set up at your convenience, to help guide you through your caregiving experience. For more details or to schedule an appointment, please call our Lawrence Office at 800-892-0890 or Danvers Office at 978-750-4540.

Do you have a question? We encourage inquiries and comments from our readers. Please direct your correspondence Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, Inc.:
Lawrence Office: Age Information Department, 280 Merrimack Street, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA 01843 or
Danvers Office: Information and Referral, 300 Rosewood Dr #200, Danvers, MA 01923 or

Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and North Shore.

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