Over the course of 22 years as a nurse, Carla Wheaton learned a lot about healthy living and disease prevention. “The Lord gave us a wonderful immune system, but it’s up to us to do what we can to support it,” Carla said.

Carla’s nursing career taught her well to wash her hands frequently, sanitize often, and to avoid large groups during virus season. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Carla has taken those recommended precautions and has remained vigilant by wearing a mask and social distancing in public, avoiding high-touch points like gas pumps, and avoiding large gatherings. “COVID is a serious virus, but the precautions we should take really aren’t much different than what I’m used to doing during flu season,” she said.

Staying Active

At 66-years-old, Carla is extremely active. She enjoys being in nature, using the equipment in the YMCA wellness center, and taking group fitness classes like Dance Fitness at the Y.  “Exercise is my mental and physical therapy,” she said. “I plan to stay independent for many years, so that motivates me to stay active and ensure that I’m taking whatever health precautions I need to take.”

Carla and her husband are “snowbirds,” so when the pandemic started, they were in Florida. She was able to exercise outside for much of the spring and early summer, but when the Y reopened, Carla knew she wanted to come back. “I love the camaraderie at the Y, from the members to the staff,” she said. “I also love doing different activities and mixing up my routines, so I was definitely ready to come back to the Y.”

Safe & Sound

Carla said that she felt at ease returning to the Y because the equipment was properly spaced, classes were appropriately distanced, and the cleaning routines were obvious. “I see the staff cleaning every time I’m in the Y,” she said. “I am more comfortable coming here than I am going to the grocery store because I know how hard the staff is working to keep us safe and healthy.” 

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