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During these trying times for the elderly staying indoors to socially distance themselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19, a group of residents near Trestles are banding together to visit with those neighbors by keeping them company—from a safe distance of 6 feet.

On Monday, May 11, Cory Scurlock and a few other neighbors paid a visit to Dale and Leo Larsen, two of the neighborhood’s oldest residents, she said. Outside the home, the Larsens showed off pictures of the neighborhood back when their house was built in 1969.

“The Larsens are in their 80s now and encouraged us to plant our roots in San Clemente long- term,” Scurlock told San Clemente Times in an email. “To be cautious, we all stood 6 feet apart and didn’t shake hands. . . . The kids particularly seemed to enjoy their stories of their neighborhood long ago.”

Scurlock said the neighbors exchanged stories with the Larsens and encouraged them to stay in touch with those in the neighborhood. Leo Larsen, she said, cautioned the group about motorists speeding down Avenida San Luis Rey.

A group of residents from a neighborhood near Trestles visits Leo Larsen, one of the neighborhood’s oldest residents, on Monday, May 11, as part an ongoing effort to support the elderly staying inside amid the pandemic. Photo: Courtesy of Cory Scurlock

The idea to visit the elderly in the neighborhood came to Scurlock, she said, on a recent day when she woke up asking herself “what the heck am I doing?”

“Here I am, a professional in the senior living industry and I haven’t even checked on my neighbors,” she wrote. “So, as usual, I just went on Facebook and posted the idea of doing something and (more than) 20 trestles neighborhood residents jumped in, we organized and boom! It was important to us to approach this as a community event because really that’s all it is.”

Scurlock wrote that the group had planned to also visit with another neighbor who is 90 years old, but upon going to her home, the next-door neighbor notified them that she had recently fallen and was in rehabilitation.

She is “expected to make a full recovery and return home sometime in the next two weeks,” Scurlock said, adding that the group will visit her then and offer any support she might need from the neighborhood.

“This was an introduction but the residents here are a tight-knit bunch and look after each other,” Scurlock said in the email. “Now that we’ve introduced ourselves I’m sure there will be plenty of stopping by, checking in and chatting.”

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