By Mary Stanley
Public Relations / Marketing Coordinator
So, here we are in the middle of summer—halfway through another year. While we could bemoan how quickly time is passing, it’s more exciting to think about how far we have come in a short amount of time. Less than a year ago, masks were mandated in all public places and gatherings were reduced to small intimate groups. Talk of a vaccine was just that—talk. But, by January, vaccinations were available and the first shots were being administered. The demand for these vaccines—the key to freedom, independence, and peace of mind for many people—was extremely high. Websites crashed as users flocked to get appointments. And now, just four months later, vaccines are as plentiful as strawberries in June. With so many people in the state now vaccinated, mask mandates have been relaxed to the point that vaccinated people no longer have to wear them in the grocery stores and other public places. Concerts have resumed; people are traveling again—life is beginning to return to normal—or pretty close to normal.
And people are ecstatic about this progress—which makes me ponder: was this pandemic some kind of divine intervention intended to remind us to slow down, to appreciate the small things in life—like going to eat at a restaurant or visiting with family and friends, or hugging the people we love?
While congregate care settings like New England Village must continue with mask requirements, we are happy to be able to lift other restrictions and return to life as it was prior to 2020. At the end of June, for the first time since 2019, we welcomed 150 people to our campus to celebrate the kick off of our two-year strategic plan. Not only did this event bring back memories of the days before the pandemic when these gatherings were the norm and not the exception, it gave us hope for the future. We now look eagerly toward September when we will once again hold our annual Family Day event. Yes, things will be a bit different this year—we may have to cancel if there is rain; and masks are still required, but that should not detract from the wonderful experience of gathering together with family and friends to celebrate. And after nearly two years of being apart, this year’s Family Day is sure to feel so much sweeter and be appreciated on a much higher level. I guess Joni Mitchell was right when she sang, “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” May we never take for granted again the gathering of friends and family, and, of course, good health.