Broadmoor Park Senior Center hasn’t had any kind of programs available to its members since March 13.
In a normal month, Cathy Rodriguez is in charge of creating new activities that may be completed by an instructor or individually. Along with her duties, Rodriguez oversees sponsors and the purchase of equipment or supplies. She also helps serve meals to Broadmoor members.
Due to the escalation of the COVID-19 virus and the concern for safety, Rodriguez was told to close the center’s doors. Rodriguez informed Broadmoor members that the facility will no longer be open; however, curbside meals were going to be available.
Rodriguez felt compassion for the safety of her members because she did not want anything to happen to them.
“At that time, they were saying that this was affecting the elderly,” Rodriguez said. “Us only having seniors was kind of scary. If they’re going to keep coming here, who knows who has it.”
One of the main obstacles Rodriguez faces is safety.
“The first week we didn’t have protective gears, as far as masks and gloves,” Rodriguez said. “It was kind of risky not knowing who could potentially give us any kind virus or illness. Now we’re equipped with gloves and face masks.”
Rodriguez said she misses the exchange in conversation with her members.
“A lot of them were really funny with each other, the jokes that they made,” Rodriguez said. “They’d come to the office and tell us some jokes, or they would tell us their life stories.”
According to Yasmin Hernandez, a biology major, when members of the center arrive to receive their meals, she is glad that they are doing okay in these times. On the other hand, Hernandez wishes that the members would stay home to minimize the risk.
“I want to be happy that these men and women are coming to receive a meal they desperately need,” Hernandez said.
Some of the common subjects the members talk to Hernandez about include if they have any extra protective gear they can spare.
“It’s always nice to hear them tell us to be safe,” Hernandez said. “And that they are grateful for our services.”
Hernandez practices safety before, during and after work. Hernandez disinfects commonly used items such as keys, cellphones, and shoes to minimize the risk of the COVID-19.