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Sat May 16, 2020, 08:37 PM

Adopt a grandparent: Young help the old in Bolivian pandemic

Paola Flores, Associated Press
Updated 2:45 pm CDT, Saturday, May 16, 2020

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Sergio Royela lived far from his parents in Bolivia and was concerned how they were faring in the quarantine imposed by interim President Jeanine Áńez to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“So, I looked for a neighbor to help me and I did the same in my condominium and adopted another grandfather,” Royuela said.

Thus, a volunteer campaign was born. “Adopt a Grandparent” urges volunteers to help senior citizens if they need safe support. So far, about 20 young people have volunteered to help, said Royuela, who serves as the campaign coordinator.

For most people, the global pandemic causes mild or moderate symptoms but older adults and people with existing health problems have been particularly vulnerable.

In Bolivia, more than half of the 76 people confirmed to have been killed by the virus as of May 3 were elderly, according to health ministry data. For many elderly Bolivians, particularly those who are ill, it is difficult to shop for the basics and they are often far from their families.


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