Senior News fleshes out the fear factor this month

Senior News 

HUMBOLDT – What Scares Us? That’s our theme for October —“Things That Go Bump in the Night.” 

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“It’s not a Halloween issue,” said Senior News editor Ted Pease. “But there is plenty that scares us these days, so now is a good time to talk about it.”

As if six months of the coronavirus hasn’t been enough to put us on edge, add the constant barrage of bad news about how divided we are as a country, wildfires that turned daytime skies to night, social unrest over police shootings of Black people, etc...  and many of us are about ready to hide under a rock.

Arcata psychologist Gina Belton says increased levels of fear and anxiety are to be expected. “Any kind of uncertainty increases anxiety,” she says in the lead story, “A Frightening Year.”

But, like Halloween, this issue of Senior News is also about “fun fears” — Jan Ostrom’s memory of being jolted on a nighttime trip to the outhouse. How Patty Holbrook’s fear of junior high school teachers drove her to a life of jazz and show tunes. Sheila Donnelly’s gravedigger dad back in Minnesota. And the things that actually do go “Bump!” in Doug Vieyra’s house. Plus, bats!

All that, plus regular columnists, two pages of letters and lots more to frighten and entertain you — and maybe to help you navigate these scary days.

Every scared kid knows to run and find mom or a friend when you’re scared, but that’s hard to do in these never-ending days of self-isolation — especially for seniors. But what about people whose community of friends closed with the pandemic?

“We have to help people who don’t have connections to friends by figuring out ways to reach out to them,” said Pease in his editorial. “Let’s start with phone calls to everyone who used to eat at the Senior Center every day, and everyone signed up for those activities we haven’t been able to host since March.”

Pease says he’ll start: “Give me a call at (707) 443-9747, x1226, if you want to talk. I’ll call you back.”

In Senior News Next Month: It’s the annual Senior News Food Issue! November is the start of holiday food season, for we’re looking for food stories — favorite memories around meals, food & friendships, different cultural traditions, how we’re going to keep eating under the pandemic restrictions this season. No recipes, please! What’s in your fridge? Send story ideas to the editor at [email protected].

About Senior News

Senior News is published monthly by the Humboldt Senior Resource Center (since 1981) and printed by Western Web in Samoa, circulating 11,000 copies free and by subscription each month. Senior News is inserted in the Times-Standard and the Mad River Union, and offered free at local businesses and online at For story ideas, letters to the editor, subscription and advertising information, call (707) 443-9747.


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