Residents and staff at Aegis Living in Bellevue celebrated with a “Saturday Night ‘No’ Fever” party after receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Two weekends ago, over 140 residents and staff received their second and final round of COVID-19 vaccination shots.
Afterward, they threw a disco-themed party complete with syringes filled with what Charlene Watson, Life Enrichment Director at Aegis Living Bellevue, assured was non-alcoholic Jell-O shots.
Watson said typically vaccinations conjure traumatic and fearful memories of doctors and needles, but in this case the community members at Aegis Living were excited about getting a needle in their arms.
Watson said the last year had been difficult and there was “tension” around the staff as they upped their efforts and guidelines to keep some of the most vulnerable members of the community safe amid the pandemic outbreak that started in a long-term care facility just like theirs.
As the director of enrichment activities and entertainment for Aegis Living, Watson was challenged to organize social engagement and activities during a time when residents were required to socially distance, not only from each other, but from their closest friends and family.
Now after the majority of the Aegis Living community has been vaccinated, Watson said the community can begin returning to what they missed, “togetherness.”
Aegis Living resident Ursula Ratti said it was a “great relief” to receive the vaccine, and now she looks forward to the first time she can go out and shop again.
Tenaye Dube, Care Director at Aegis Living, said she felt very lucky to receive the vaccine after a stressful year. But she said it is “not over yet,” as staff and residents will still have to remain cautious and follow safety guidelines until the pandemic subsides.