Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
3:50 pm EST
Monday, January 24, 2022

In the Villages: Got vaccinated?…

Time to climb out from under the blanket and crawl out of the bunker – with caution.

Story: Joe Angione

A sizable number of Villagers have received COVID-19 vaccinations. And since there are few, if any, complaints about the safety and efficacy of this preventive medication, it’s time to break out of our self-imposed quarantines and begin socializing once again. 

This isn’t to say that we should throw caution to the wind and go back to person-to-person relationships. Social distancing is still pretty much a must, and masks remain a reasonable precaution when socializing with people, including those we haven’t met before and also those whose health status is in doubt. 

But our need to be cautious should not stop us from breaking out of our isolation at home and preventing us from getting reacquainted with neighbors and family. It’s been amazing how during the last 12 months, Villagers have lost contact with friends and neighbors. For a long time, Village resident associations were closed, as were our recreation centers and entertainment venues. Our restaurants were sometimes shut tight, and even our places of worship were forced to close their doors at times.   

Most opportunities to socialize outside our homes quickly disappeared. Sure, we travelled to shop for essentials and to take care of medical needs, but these trips were few and short, and contact was limited to only a few people. Often retail stores—supermarkets, pharmacies, even restaurants–came to us, allowing us to order by phone and pick-up purchases outside the establishment, or have them delivered to our door. 

Fear of closeness fell like a stifling blanket over the Villages. We adopted a “bunker mentality” and ignored virtually everyone. Although, we were avoiding contact to protect our physical wellbeing, our mental and emotional health suffered. Our days became filled with nothing to do, no one to see, only endless hours of TV where there’s never much worth watching anyway.

It’s time to put all that isolation and dreariness behind us. Some courageous neighbors have reinstituted driveway get-togethers. Some are scheduling walking tours and bicycling events to bring people out together for conversation and exercise. Encouraged by the safe experiences of holiday gatherings, some are beginning to feel comfortable about hosting a few friends over for cocktails, cards, and maybe even for dinner.   

Remain cautious, but think positively. New vaccines promise a safe, active social future for everyone. 

Joe Angione loves to share stories of his adventures.  If you want to contact him, email

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