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    Been There, Done That: Eight Decades And Counting By Alice Herb: Will This Never End? Maybe We Can Turn To Something New by Alice Herb

    Will This Never End? Maybe We Can Turn To Something New By Alice Herb


    I’ve been silent on my blog for many weeks now.  Words fail me.  Not because I’ve lost them (though I search for a lot of them and usually find them.) Rather, there is little left to say.  The world is in a sorry state and the virus is leaving us with few uplifting stories to tell each other.  But I’m not writing this to depress you. Instead, I want to inspire you and me to share the wonder we have experienced in our many decades and thereby find a way to bring them back.  Innovation! Resourcefulness! Wisdom!  That’s just a few. But what am I talking about?


    In the not too recent past – July 13, 2020 – I read an article in the New Yorker, “How Pandemics Wreak Havoc – And Open Minds”  in which a medical historian, Gianna Pomato, says “What happens after the Black Death, it’s like a wind – fresh air is coming in, the fresh air of common sense.” And she expects that something positive will happen after this pandemic, “Because of danger, there’s this wonderful human response, which is to think in a new way.”


    She continues that at the end of the plague, the Middle Ages ended and the Renaissance came to be.  In Europe, at least. Now that’s a real encouragement for me.  


    And I do think it’s true that people are thinking differently now.  We’ll probably never return to the world we knew in January but then that wasn’t such a wonderful world anyway.  Common values of truth, decency, and integrity were in continuing decline. So let me jump quickly into tomorrow and something constructive.  A valued colleague and friend called me last week and asked me if I would join her and a few others to start an organization or join one as an offshoot to explore a project she called Women Over 60 For What Matters.  I readily agreed to be part of the effort but what would that mean?  We would have to explore, research, and ponder what we could do effectively.  What the title implies to me is to consider what we seniors can do that would improve the lives of others while giving us gratifying, interesting work to do that would challenge our minds and use our considerable experience and skills. More than 6 months have gone by in either total or partial lockdown.  Many of us live alone and as I wrote in a previous post, this has led to loneliness and yearning for personal contact.  For those who have quarantined with others, they could use some relief from “over togetherness.” There are glimmers of seniors coming up with innovative products, amusements, skills, etc.  What we have to offer is years of experience and skills learned as professionals, workers, artisans, stay at home Moms, and more.  We hope we have also developed some wisdom and philosophy of life, learned from our failures, and gained from our successes.  How about putting that back to work again?


    I have suggested some focus groups as starters but this is just the beginning. You may have the opportunity to be at the start of something really worthwhile and engaging.  Please give it some thought and email me at Thank you.


    Alice Herb is a retired attorney, journalist, and bioethics consultant. Having reached the age of 85+, she’s more than ready to share her experiences and opinions with agebuzz readers. Want to comment on something she’s said? She welcomes your feedback at


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