Friday, December 25, 2020

Composure in the face of COVID-19

 

MAINTAINING OUR COMPOSURE

DURING THE PANDEMIC

BY ARMAND RODRIGUES

Covid-19 has certainly disrupted normal living conditions worldwide.  Interaction with family and friends has taken an unprecedented and unpleasant twist.  Socializing face-to-face in harmonious fellowship is now taboo. We have been segregated and left stranded. Gloom and doom are constant bedfellows. and may be the new norm for now.

In this milieu some rays of hope continue in the form of disseminators of Goan endeavours.  Frederick Noronha in Goa; Eddie Fernandes in London, England: Salus Correia and Cyprian Fernandes in Australia: keep the embers aglow.  Canada fell off the radar with the sad demise of John D’Souza a couple of years back. And, Darrel Carvalho persevered and put forth a newsletter on behalf of the Westend Seniors’ Club in Toronto.  But hats off to Greta Dias, the intrepid Director of the Goan Overseas Association (Toronto)’s retirees, who fills the void best of all, by churning out stuff beyond compare.  The pandemic certainly put her mettle to the test. Phone calls, emails and virtual imaging have proven to be invaluable tools in her efforts.

For ten years Greta fronted face-to-face activities for the retirees. When these efforts got disconnected from the scenario, Greta embarked on an ambitious and unique program of providing palatable alternative strategies for members. These were in the form of “sanitized” material doled out at a furious pace. Her efforts have aligned well with members and even a few on other continents. Her think-tank includes her husband, sisters and a whole slew of talented individuals. The ongoing social diversions include : a monthly newsletter with special themes; interesting articles; pictures of members’ gardens, handicrafts, old school photographs; recipes; videos of  line-dancing and keep-fit programmes; health & welfare ; computer literacy; a primer on Zoom usage;  Rosary on Zoom every week;  ......the list goes on. For the meat and potatoes types like us in isolation, this could be just what the doctor ordered. Some colourful covers (below) reflect the diversity. All this virtual imaging was facilitated because of the impetus of the  President of the Goan Overseas Association (Toronto), Selwyn Colaco.

What will Greta and her team think of next ?

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