Page 16 - New England Condominium November 2021
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16 NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   -NOVEMBER 2021    NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  Building EnvelopeYour  Restoration Specialists  Since 1981,   Alpha Weatherproofing Corp.   has served  building owners and property managers throughout  New England with comprehensive weatherproofing  and building envelope restoration services.   AFTER  BEFORE  •    Concrete Restoration   •    Façade Inspection & Repair   Specialty Coatings  •    Masonry Restoration  •    Sealant Removal &     Replacement  •    Parking Garage Repair     & Traffic Coatings  •    Historic Restoration  •    •    Waterproofing Systems  •    Roofing & Roof     Maintenance  •    Structural Repairs  •    Emergency Repairs  617-628-8888  •  Request a free consultation  •  View projects  •  Sign up for our e-newsletter  5 0 8  -4 4-4  7  66  3  DON’T REPLACE YOUR ROOF…  REJUVENATE IT WITH ROOF MAXX!  for many—which, I can tell you from a pro-  fessional perspective, leads to a low level of   pervasive depression—a feeling like you’re   alone, perhaps abandoned.”  What Comes Next?  “Coming out of the pandemic,” says   Greco, “we are seeing something of a hang-  over. I’m seeing this both in my practice   and in my building. There are many people   who  are  afraid  to  meet  others  in  person.   They want to continue to do things virtu-  ally. The truth is that even for therapy ses-  sions, my colleagues and I are still seeing   many patients through telehealth video   sessions on our phones or laptops. As a   mental health professional, I suspect some   are relieved and welcome the isolation be-  cause they just don’t want to have to go out.   They’ve got a lot of fear.  In the elevator,   they won’t let   others in, some-  times even with   a  mask. People   distance them-  selves  when  walking dogs.   It’s creating a   lot of tension.”    Others, ex-  plains  Greco,  are the polar   opposite. “They   hate  the  masks   and are ready to   return to some level of normal life. When   they see other people now engaging out of   the house on social media, they find it a   psychological relief and it encourages them   to do the same, though I stress to both my   patients and neighbors that they must be   smart about it and observe the necessary   precautions where required.”  The next step, explains Greco, is to give   positive reinforcement that we need to   move forward and learn to live with the   situation. “People \[will\] need a ‘memo’ say-  ing it’s over,” she says. “Some don’t think   it’s ever going back to normal. They think   this is forever. They have to feel secure—  so given a positive path, they will social-  ize with other like-minded people. Put out   that memo for those who want to partici-  pate. Tell them to please feel free to attend   and let them come out slowly—see who   emerges. It’s baby steps. It’s a trust issue.   Do people feel secure? We have to ask if   they do. Is it safe to sit on the green, or by   the pool? Only time will heal.”  A Look at What’s Happening    in Real Time  Perhaps the most affected segment of   the market in terms of social interaction   has been over-55 communities. Seniors   choose these communities, known alter-  natively as  Active  Adult  communities,   because they offer a high level of social   programming for their members. The pan-  demic has hit this group hard.  George Borsuk is a  longtime resident   of The Greens, an over-55 community in   Melville, New York. He is the president of   the men’s club there and has been for many   years. Overall, he says, “Our group did well   during the pandemic. We used the library   in our community, and were able to Zoom   every week through them. The clubhouse   is now open again. The gym is open to five   people at a time. Tennis courts opened for   singles and doubles, with a one-hour play   rule. We are wounded, but working and   healing. Ours is still the best community   on Long Island.   “People need community,” Borsuk   points out. “Otherwise, you’re alone all the   time. The downside from the pandemic is   that people are more isolated. Death is a   reality here; it’s an aging community. But   everyone helps each other out. We need   the community feeling.”    Michael Valente of BRIGS, a real es-  tate  management  firm based in Boston,   agrees that many resi-  dents in the associa-  tions he manages are   still fearful of group   activities. “Some are   still afraid to leave   their houses. But   those who are not,” he   says, “are beginning   to use the clubhouse   and the pool. Book   clubs, movie clubs,   and card clubs are   meeting. These events are posted on com-  munity website calendars, and notices are   sent by email to the residents or through   our web portal to let them know. We are   encouraging masks, and some clubs are   requiring them. If vaccinated, no mask is   required.”  Finally, Greco suggests that boards con-  sider consulting with therapists to get some   good ideas about how to bring back social   interaction and how to approach residents   in a helpful way. Consider bringing coun-  selors to a community event;  give people   an opportunity to talk about how the last   20 months have been for them. Perhaps a   printed memo and some in-person situa-  tions where residents can ask questions,   vent, etc. with mental and physical health   professionals. If that doesn’t seem like a fit   for your building, then perhaps a resource   list of support professionals, organizations,   or hotlines posted to the building website   or chat group could be useful. One thing   is for sure: the past 20 months have been   difficult. Hopefully the next 20 can be used   to get back on a positive pathway, both for   individuals and their communities.             n  A. J. Sidransky is a staff writer/reporter for   New England Condominium, and a published   novelist. He can be reached at alan@yrinc.  com.   “The downside   from the pandemic is   that people are more   isolated... We need the   community feeling.”          —George Borsuk   REBUILDING...  continued from page 9

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