Older Americans Are Now Vaccinated and Ready to Party!

When you’re over 65, spending a year inside is a substantial amount of the time you have left on the planet. It might be for a good reason, but that doesn’t make it fun. Now that most of those over 65 are vaccinated, they are ready to get out and about.

Across the United States, COVID-19 vaccinations are changing seniors’ daily lives in ways large and small a year after the pandemic drove many in the high-risk group into forced isolation. Older Americans are again visiting family members, eating at their favorite restaurants and shopping in stores without fear of death or hospitalization.

The emergence of new, potentially more virulent variants of the coronavirus is causing some inoculated seniors to return to their routines with caution, however. And the weight of so many deaths among their peers, plus the psychological burden that accompanied months of quarantine, will not dissipate overnight.

This week, Linda Dobrusin, 80, will welcome three friends – all of whom have also been vaccinated – into her home in Southfield, Michigan, to restart a weekly card game of canasta on hold since last spring.

The occasion is bittersweet for Dobrusin, who lost a lifelong friend to COVID-19 last year. The pandemic made a proper funeral impossible, so she watched the small graveside service via video.

For many seniors, the vaccine’s biggest boon is allowing them to see relatives again, after missing out on weddings, births, graduations and holidays. Older Americans in particular, who often face health risks apart from the pandemic, have felt the loss of a full calendar year deeply.

Lonnie Hanauer, 85, and his wife, Bette, are leaving their home in West Orange, New Jersey, this week and flying to Florida to visit their daughter, whom they haven’t seen since Thanksgiving in 2019. Last year’s Thanksgiving holiday was the first the couple spent alone, without their children, in more than a half-century.

Lonnie said:

“When you get old, you don’t know how many more.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday released new guidelines for vaccinated individuals, saying they can safely meet indoors without masks in small groups but should still don masks in public and avoid large gatherings.

Some 60 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population, had received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday, according to CDC data. Nearly 55% of those individuals were 65 years or older.

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Comments (5)


  1. Raymond Miller
    Reply

    I’m happy for those seniors that have gotten their shots and are free again. They obviously don’t live in New Jersey, as usual in N.J. we have a “Cluster Fox Trot”, incompetence on parade. You have to spend hours and days on the phone to try and find a place that has an opening for you, and it can mean hours of driving to get there if you are lucky enough to find a slot. Total “SNAFU”. The only thing N.J. can reliably produce are Liberal Politicians of both parties.

  2. chicagodude1945
    Reply

    You can’t keep us old farts down forever, even though Gruesome Newsom is doing his best to keep us locked away. There’s a rumor going around that he wants to pass a law before he gets kicked out of office to keep all the restaurants closed until 2022 to punish all of us for being so mean to him. He even told us a few weeks ago that he can’t explain how he decides which counties need to remain locked down because it is much too complicated for us ordinary people to understand it! But when you consider that over 90% of California citizens never graduated from high school I guess he has a point. If it wasn’t for spel chec I wouldn’t even be able to type this BS!

  3. Elena Hernandez
    Reply

    Not in my state, MA, my husband and I are 73 and 75 and have been unable to get an appointment. ??????

  4. D. Hunter
    Reply

    Some Michigan seniors still not vaccinated and state starting into next faze. How can this be?

  5. Sally Tenney
    Reply

    If only 18.1% of American’s have been vaccinated against COVID 19 (60 million) and 55% of those were over 65 that ‘s only approximately 35 million seniors vaccinated. I don’t agree that “most” people over 65 have been vaccinated and are ready to “party.” My husband and I are in our 70’s and have been trying to get our COVID 19 vaccinations for a month on our state and county websites. We are still staying at home alot, watching church on Zoom! We have 17 grandchildren that we seldom see! We stayed home on Thanksgiving in 2020. Don’t be writing about older people being “free” to travel and “party!”

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