Online Originals: Group of older Americans celebrate together after year in isolation

Online Originals

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A group of older Americans gathered at Grainger Stadium on Friday in honor of Older Americans Month.  

Betsy Griffin is the Executive Director for the Lenoir County Council on Aging. She said Friday at the stadium kicks off their return to normalcy after the coronavirus pandemic.

Addie Uzzell showed up with a group of friends. She was ready to get out of the house. 

“It’s nice to be together. All senior citizens have something to do today, besides staying in the house,” said Uzzell.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, older Americans are more likely to die from COVID due to underlying health conditions. Experts advise them to stay home and away from people to keep them safe from exposure. But besides the physical risk, the mental strain of social isolation has also impacted our seniors.   

Down East Wood Ducks Director of Special Events, John McCormick said these events will help reunite the Kinston community after COVID restrictions kept everyone apart.  

“We’re more than just a baseball team,” McCormick said. “Last year, we hosted over 150 events, so it’s great to bring out the community, especially when we can educate and entertain the older Americans in our community.”

Griffin was excited to see people coming back together.

“Oh for seniors, it’s everything. They have missed seeing each other, and they have been afraid to get out and about,” said Griffin.

Back in the stands, Uzzell echoed that same sentiment.

“And we’ve been closed in, and we don’t see each other, and a gathering like this here brings us close together. We can find out what’s happening, it’s just a good something to do today.”

For a list of resources from the event visit Lenoir County Council on Aging’s website.


Follow Victoria Holmes on Twitter @VicAntHol

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