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  • Writer's pictureFrank Finamore

From Frank ... | Mar 12

It’s hard to believe that this week we are marking the one-year anniversary of when the pandemic really affected our community. At the Village this meant a pivot to virtual programs. We taught Zoom classes, shifted to contactless grocery delivery, prioritized medical appointments, held an outdoor concert, made countless check-in calls, and basically learned how to be a Village community while being physically distant.

With our daily newsletters for several months, I perhaps over-shared the details of my own life in my big Italian family in an effort to make various points about perseverance or to just give you a needed laugh. I heard from many of you via email in response, especially after I wrote about my father’s death from COVID, and ironically somehow, I feel closer to you despite the physical distance that we’ve had to maintain.

Claire’s Poetry Corner is a gift each week and always presents an opportunity to stop and reflect. We’ve had to say goodbye to family and friends, but we’ve found ways in the midst of our grief to do so, albeit differently.

Over the last few months, we’ve been helping members and others from the community to get vaccinated. This was a herculean effort and I thank the many volunteers that assisted us in that effort. As a result, many aged 65 and older or who are otherwise eligible for the vaccine have done so and are on the road to being “fully vaccinated.”

But now, finally, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. This week, the CDC announced new more open guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated (check out our COVID article below for details). Given this new guidance, I’m thrilled to announce that our Village has adopted a new policy to begin a gradual “reopening”. This means we will begin to reintroduce in-person gatherings and events. You can get all the details here.

We will also continue virtual programs, member check-in calls, and other activities that do not require individuals to gather. Over time, some programs may lend themselves to being held in person, but we are committed to offering both in-person and virtual programs so that the greatest number of members may participate and feel comfortable doing so.

We recognize that after a year of physical distancing and other precautions, there will be a range of comfort levels among the members of our Village community and are therefore taking a careful approach to implementing these new activities. Most importantly, for the safety of everyone, we ask those members and volunteers who have been fully vaccinated to show proof of your vaccination to a Village staff member prior to attending an in-person Village event or service intended for those fully vaccinated. Proof may be shown virtually just once to Claire or myself.

Now we have to learn how to be “in person” all over again. Thank you, in advance, for your patience as we now figure out the best way to pivot back to in-person activities. And check our website regularly for updates to our status.

Remember my story about running the Marine Corps Marathon? Well, it feels as if I am seeing the first glimpse of the finish line, with the big rainbow of brightly colored balloons marking the finish. We’re not quite there yet, but with continued patience and perseverance, I have hope that we will be soon.

P.S. As you cross the finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon, someone puts a medal around your neck while another volunteer wraps a blanket around you in case your temperature drops suddenly, and then yet a third person politely shoves a cookie in your mouth to replenish your energy. Those three volunteers showed me then that it really does take a village to get through the hard times.


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