The best and worst of 2020


Tom and Dee and Cousin Key



So here we go again with a subjective, highly unscientific commentary on the year that was. As years go, 2020 was a stinker — not merely bad, but really, really bad. As they say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

On that note, 2020 is closing in predictably bad fashion. What with lockdowns and warnings about travel and gatherings over the holidays, far too many grandparents will be alone, deprived of family.

BEST NEWS: One might reasonably expect seniors to be highly stressed as COVID-19 rages, since the virus is especially dangerous to elders. But that’s not the case, according to a new Stanford University study. It’s an established fact that we generally become happier as we age. And the new study found that the grandparent generation maintained more positive emotions than younger individuals during the pandemic, regardless of income or personality type.

WORST NEW SCAM: While there’s nothing new about grandparent scams, the latest twist takes on an added sense of urgency during the Coronavirus pandemic. Scammers pretending to be grandchildren cry out for money, claiming to be stuck in a hospital or stranded overseas.

BEST WAY TO KEEP ON SMILING: When the ravages of life begin to wear on your well-being and the grandkids aren’t around to cheer you up, researchers advise remembering the better times. Recalling accomplishments and/or joyful events is the best way to beat the blues.

BEST TIMING: Did you know you were born at exactly the right time? According to a recent study from America’s Federal Reserve Bank, grandparents had the unprecedented good fortune to benefit from rising value of wages, houses and securities, and were among the first to benefit from Social Security and Medicare.

WORST TIMING: Grandchildren are getting into grandparents’ pockets like never before. Thanks to their generosity, grandparents increasingly serve as the family financial safety net.

BEST ROLE MODEL: Those who give of themselves during a pandemic that brought humanity to its knees.

WORST ROLE MODEL: Another bumper crop. Most readers have their own ideas about winners in this category.

BEST TECHNOLOGY NEWS: University of Michigan research indicates that teaching seniors to use the Internet reduces their risk of depression by 30%. If that isn’t reason enough for grandparents to learn about computers, there’s no better way to stay in touch with grandchildren. That’s where they live.

BEST BULLETIN: According to a recent Boston College study, emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduce symptoms of depression in both groups, just as we’ve been saying all along.

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Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.