Shelter Island seniors show no panic over virus

Islanders who attend the Senior Center are taking the threat of coronavirus in stride, according to the town Senior Services Director Laurie Fanelli.

“They tell me, ‘We’ve seen SARS, H1N1, eBola, one after the other,’” Ms. Fanelli said. “They don’t let it worry them unduly.”

The town has a number of elderly residents who enjoy their independence, and with the support of the Center’s staff and volunteers, are able to remain in their own homes.

Even while the Island is temporarily without a medical office while renovations are underway, Ms. Fanelli and her staff are able to meet many of their needs, from vaccinations to a podiatrist visit.

Ms. Fanelli, who’s a nurse, recently advised seniors on ways to distinguish the coronavirus from a cold, and secured several thermometers from the Shelter Island Heights pharmacy so they could monitor their own temperatures.

Those who need medical care are sent to the Greenport Medical Center, which can perform triage to see what further steps are needed. Volunteer drivers are available to take residents to appointments.