Like a proverbial bucket of iced water, the Movement Control Order (MCO) drenched the joy experienced by members of the Methodist Senior Fellowship (MSF) in our regular gatherings with one another to learn, laugh, and grow together in wholesome fun. At first, we were patient, expecting this wet blanket to be lifted soon enough so that activities could resume. But it became apparent that the threats and ravages of Covid 19 were beyond anyone’s expectations. It was an unwelcome invader that came into our lives and seemed just impossible to get rid of.
How did MSF’ers cope with the wait? Collective resilience kicked in, and while waiting to meet in-person again, mobile devices became the next best channel of communications, with our WhatsApp chat group becoming the topmost choice for keeping in touch with everyone at the same time.
Daily prayers and motivational blessings and memes kept spirits well-nourished and comforted. Birthdays and anniversaries became group celebrations online, instead of being limited to only those near and dear due to physical or logistical limitations. Jokes, humorous videos, the occasional puzzle and other light-hearted contributions kept everyone in a positive frame of mind, while fostering good mental health.
Snippets from near and far of human-interest stories brought digitized emotional engagement. Photos and videos of surroundings kept everyone abreast of current goings-on in the lives of some members and their networks, and even of stories of days gone by which had not yet been told.
And yes, there were the political commentaries too, to share opinions and to let off steam or to read and digest, or not.
The channel was also an avenue for official announcements of the necessary postponements and cancellations as the government announced mandatory procedures. And we were faithfully provided with official daily statistical reports of the Covid 19 situation which no doubt spurred the pray-ers among us to keep storming heaven for divine intervention.
Who said seniors are not tech-savvy enough? Certainly not those among this group who kept each other entertained and informed during the various stages of the MCO – with its many acronyms to keep track of. Definitely, Covid 19 brought out the MSF-ers’ indomitable spirit of determinedly staying connected and perhaps also a new appreciation for the blessings of technology.