Editor: During this once-in-a-century crisis facing our great country, I am really grateful to the public-health (and the entire) medical community in the country and the media for emphasizing the likely exposure of the elderly and their vulnerability as victims to the COVID-19 virus.

Senior citizens fall into two categories.Many among them are self-dependent to carry on with their lives; the other group needs support for performing daily activities of life.

I belong to the first group and, being independent, consider it my duty to maintain good health and remain as well and fit as I can, especially during the pandemic surrounding us.

To this end, a minor policy change made by all grocery and drug stores would be of great help.

Up until a couple of years ago, many among these stores gave discount to elderly people on purchases made there on a particular day of the week.

Several stores seem to have abandoned that policy. I am not writing suggesting to implement the policy again. However, I certainly would like to request the management of such stores to adopt a policy to pick a day in the week, as before, and set aside a minimum of two (and more desirably four) hours on that day exclusively for shopping by senior citizens.

Advantages of this suggestion, if successfully implemented, are manifold.

It would limit exposure of senior citizens. Seniors would be reassured that shelves in the stores would be full – assuming that empty ones are replenished by vigilant managers – which would stop the buyer-hopping from one store to another in search of badly needed but unavailable food. Produce would be available for a diet to maintain stamina.

Lastly, a healthy meal every day means a worry-free life for the independent citizen, no matter where they may fall on the economic spectrum. As a result, these seniors would place less of a burden on government, charitable organizations or their children to arrange to ensure they are fed.

This policy may not have to be a permanent one. If only it would last for the next six months or a year, I am sure many seniors in our area would be thankful to the area stores for a long time to come.

Vijay Alsi, Vienna

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