Coping Strategies, by Esther Widman, President, NAHOS, New York

Dear members, friends, and supporters,

I just wanted to check in and let you know that I am thinking of you and hoping you are doing well during these very unusual times.  Brave new world- brave survivors, are we prepared to supplement “real- world” experiences with digital realms?  The answer to this challenge is YES.

Many of us are getting more comfortable with virtual activities like shopping on Amazon, checking out a menu in a restaurant, Skyping, or “face timing” our friends/families.  Virtual spaces become more acceptable; we are adjusting to new conditions and finding different strategies to serve our needs.

When/if isolation from each other will end, the “real world” will return, until then; we must “get on” with the times.  In the past, the many “what’s up” messages I got were disrupting my schedule, now that I am staying home, I welcome them.

I also want to share something from the internet that really helped me out: Natan Sharansky (the famous “Refusenik”) talked about how he dealt with isolation.  He gave five interesting points.  I paraphrase:

  1. Think and remind yourself what the reason you are isolated is?  Consider yourself in the army, a global army, with a task to carry out, not to overburden the health facilities.
  2. It is not up to us when this scourge will be over, You are not doing yourself a favor by getting worked up.   It is up to us to plan OUR day, each one of us is free, a master of himself.
  3. Humor, as long as we are laughing, we are free.

          I Just saw this on the internet, a self-isolation “secret” exercise: Put on the floor a block call it the Exercise Block, walk around it twice, sit down, relax, you              just walked up around the block twice! 

  1. Think what hobbies/tasks that can be done, in the confines of your home.
  2. Feel a connection to everyone who is or/not in isolation, remember that we are ONE people, we will get over this virus. 

Someone suggested to go on a virtual tour of museums.  I visited the Prado museum many years ago, so I revisited on:

There was English translation and I enjoyed a few hours of fun.

I’ve received several phone calls re: when we will resume our meetings, I can only say, I hope and pray, soon.

In the not so distant future, our meetings will feature better programs, and we will celebrate, in person, together, with heartfelt warmth and affection.

My love and best wishes,


Esther Widman, President, NAHOS, New York

NAHOS is the oldest Child Holocaust Survivors group, it has met every month since 1986.

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