A great sense of relief would not be a typical reaction after people are vaccinated, but the sense of gratitude was heavy in the air March 5 at the community center at Marydale Retirement Village.
About 50 residents of the community for seniors took their turn in the socially distant setting as Marydale administrators and workers from the nearby Glasgow Pharmacy carefully distributed the vaccine to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic. The affordable housing community in Newark is managed by the Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Charities through Catholic Ministry to the Elderly Inc.
“I never imagined it,” said Betty Widzgowski, 89, of the yearlong pandemic that has kept people, especially seniors, mostly confined to their homes.
“If we didn’t have each other, we’d go crazy,” said Jayne Deery, 69, a longtime St. Elizabeth’s parish member.
Widzgowski, a Wilmington native and St. Matthew’s parishioner, said she experienced some hesitation at the idea of being vaccinated, but any reluctance had vanished by the time it came around to getting the shot.
Edna Bacon, 95, was the senior member of the morning crew gathered at Marydale. The Baltimore native described the pandemic as “an annoyance for everybody.”
“Since I don’t get out a lot it hasn’t bothered me too much,” Bacon said. “But it’s uncomfortable that I’m not able to meet some of the people I know.”
Administrator Cathy Weaver said Marydale would host the second dose of shots for these same seniors in about a month and they’re hoping to have another round of vaccinations for those who didn’t get it this time.
As things continue to improve, Weaver said the village is working on plans to reopen the community center, which has been closed for about a year, so residents can return to playing games, cards and socializing
“Once we get a sufficient number of our people vaccinated, we’ll put together a plan to get the center back open,” Weaver said.