Now vaccinated, older adults come out of COVID hibernation

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Bill Griffin has been waiting more than a year for this moment: given a new vaccine, he met his 3-year-old granddaughter for the first time since the outbreak began.

“She came running. I picked it up and gave it a hug. It was amazing, ”the 70-year-old said after the reunion last week.

Spring has come with sunlight and warm weather, and many older adults, such as the vaccinated Griffin, are coming out of the Covid-19-imposed hibernation.

From shopping in person or going to the gym to big goals like family visits, at one time people at risk from COVID-19 are moving to get their lives back on track. Americans More than 47% of Americans who are 65 and older are now fully vaccinated.

Visiting grandchildren is a priority for many older adults. In Arizona, Galen Krug still has his first granddaughter, who was born a month into the epidemic in Minneapolis. Now fully vaccinated, Krug plans to travel to his granddaughter’s first birthday in April.

“I can’t wait,” said Krug, whose only interaction with the girl was on Zoom and FaceTime. “It’s so weird that it hasn’t come into my life yet.”

The excitement she feels is sadly bored. The daughter-in-law’s mother, with whom she had been waiting to share the grandmother’s duties, died in Kovid-19 a few hours after the baby was born. She contracted him to a nursing home.

Separated by the epidemic, older adults were severely affected by loneliness due to restrictions intended to keep people safe. Many of them sat for summer vacations, canceled vacation plans and missed family holiday gatherings in November and December.

In older populated states such as Maine, Arizona and Florida, health officials are concerned about the emotional and physical hardship of loneliness, and additional health concerns on top of the virus.

But that is changing, and older people are reappearing in public after being in the first group to be vaccinated.

Those who are fully vaccinated are preparing to get out of the dodge without worrying, putting themselves at risk amid an epidemic that has claimed more than 4,040,000 lives in the United States.

“Now there is an extra level of confidence. I feel good about moving on, ‘said Ken, who lives in Florida. Ken Hughes, 29, said he was flying with his wife for an annual trip delayed by an epidemic in Arizona in April.

Many adults are eager to travel on the jet. Others are waiting for simple things like eating in a restaurant, going to the movie theater or playing bingo.

Sally ams dums ,, several, were among the many older people who showed up at the “Parking Long Bingo” in Glendale, Arizona. She felt safe because she was vaccinated and because she was in her car at the first bingo event in more than a year.

Once he finishes the time to reach the punishment immunity, then he plans to indulge in little things like eating out. She and her husband, who have also been vaccinated, have both just taken off fast. Now, they think it’s okay to dine indoors too – unless it’s crowded.

“We’ll probably go inside and take the farthest table from the others to stay on the safe side.”

Indeed, many older adults have taken a cautious approach, especially when it comes to the U.S. Department of Disease Control and Prevention. The centers refused to simplify travel recommendations.

Frequent traveler Cindy Cherrest was so excited about the prospect of tourists leaving for the first time in more than a year that she posted a plane emoji with a photo of being vaccinated on social media.

But, the CDC is currently adopting a wait-and-see attitude after recommending against unique air travel.

“I think I got excited about it prematurely,” said Charest, 65, of Westbrook, Maine. But when the time comes he is ready to jump. She is looking to change the guide.

Others are also wary.

“We’re still in its thick,” said Claudette Green, 68, of Portland, Maine. “We’ve made a lot of progress but we’re not done with this.”

Kathy Buber said she and her husband have been fully vaccinated, but are in no hurry to move things forward. Land The 73-year-old Portland resident is planning to wait until the fall before planning a major trip. She hopes to go on a safari in December.

“In all of this, my goal is not to be the last person to die from covid. I am ready to be patient and take as much time as I can, ”he said.

They were also wary before Griffins reunited with his granddaughter.

Waterborough’s Bill Griffin did not dare to have close contact with family members until he was vaccinated because he has lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure, all of which put him at high risk for COVID. 19.

“Everyone wants to live for the moment, but that moment can be very deadly. We listened to the scientists, ”he said.


Associated Press writers in Miami Adriana Gomez Lycan and Terry Tange in Phoenix contributed to this report.