I predict that one year, five years, even ten years from now, we will all remember how we spent this time of crisis. Will we look back on days filled with boredom and binge-watching? Or will we think about how we stepped up, in our own small ways, to help meet the needs of our neighbors and our communities? I applaud the everyday heroes who are rising to the challenges across our nation.
Speaking for myself, this crisis has brought new urgency to my own work. Since National Geographic published my book, Just Move!, in late 2017, I have been reaching out to other older adults with a message of empowerment and hope: by making wellness a personal priority, you, too, can take charge of the aging process and make your life the best it can be.
But what’s currently at stake isn’t just quality of life; it’s survival. We know that older adults are both generally more vulnerable to the coronavirus and more likely to have underlying health conditions that put them even more at risk.
So I’m doubling down on my own commitment to action. My current project is producing a new documentary film, The Art of Aging Well, with the goal of inspiring older adults to take care of themselves in body, mind and spirit. If ever we’ve needed a movement to encourage more focus on wellness among our older population, we need it now.
James P. Owen
Author, Just Move! and Cowboy Ethics