“Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way!”
Actor, singer, comedian and philanthropist, Danny Kaye, sang this song in a stop-animation Easter special that aired on television in 1971. Seniors, Boomers and their children fondly remember the melody of the popular chorus and sing it to their grandchildren year after year, in youthful anticipation of Easter baskets and enthusiastic egg hunts!
Except last year, that is. COVID dashed many of our hopes for a joyous Easter celebration with our families. Whether you celebrate Christian Easter on April 4th or Orthodox Easter on May 2nd, 2021 offers more than a spiritual promise, but it also offers the promise of a greater return to “normal” life after COVID, largely due to the FDA-approved vaccines.
COVID vaccines make celebrating Easter safer for seniors who have gotten both of the Pfizer or Moderna shots, or one of the Johnson & Johnson shots. There are some things you should know before you start hiding eggs or filling Easter baskets in preparation of a gathering with your grands, though.
If You Have Been Fully Vaccinated
Gov. Ron DeSantis prioritized adults over age 65, because they have been most harshly impacted by COVID-19 and remain at higher risk of suffering from serious symptoms, complications, and mortality than any other age group. As I write this blog, more than 4.2 million seniors and adults with underlying health conditions have been vaccinated in Florida with one or both of the Pfizer or Moderna shots.
In as much as that’s a lot of vaccinated people, WTSP-10 Tampa Bay filed a report in January that emphasized, “Experts say you can see more people and visit more places but you still have to wear a mask to protect unvaccinated people around you.”
Since Operation Warp Speed prompted the fasted development of effective vaccines in recorded history, it is not known if a fully vaccinated person can still spread the virus if they contract it. However, for seniors who have had both doses, two weeks following the 2nd shot should provide enough time to generate antibodies to fight the virus and prevent critical illness and death.
According to Dr. Jill Roberts, a molecular epidemiologist at University of South Florida School of Public Health, having both doses of the vaccine means seniors can do the things they've avoided during the pandemic including seeing their grandkids, going shopping, enjoying a meal in a restaurant and going to Easter Sunday Church services.
"That’s the point of having a vaccine…to allow us to actually return to some of those activities we really love doing," Dr. Roberts explained
If You Have Not Been Fully Vaccinated
Many people have chosen not to vaccinate, and that is their personal decision. Others have experienced difficulties getting an appointment for their vaccine. Whatever your reason for not getting the vaccination, COVID and its more infectious variants don’t care, and they are still actively pursuing human hosts in the Tampa Bay area.
Florida remains in the orange zone with active community spread, and I hope Spring Break does not become a super-spreader event for our communities. But the threat certainly looms large, just in time for Easter.
If you have not been fully vaccinated, continue following the CDC guidelines for hand-washing, masking-up, and social distancing. Attend virtual church services and plan outdoor activities and meals, so you can see family members and friends, but you can spread-out more to avoid spreading coronavirus, should you be infected but asymptomatic. COVID testing before gathering with family and friends is also highly recommended.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida visit the Florida COVID Response website; text FLCOVID19 to 888777; call 866-779-6121; or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. If a Home Helpers® caregiver can be of assistance in any way, please contact me.
Additionally, if a compassionate caregiver from Home Helpers® can provide companion care, respite care, recuperative care, wellness calls, or other services to help you or a senior you love, I gladly offer a FREE Consultation so we can get to know each other, and I can assess specific needs.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for five consecutive years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
WTSP-10 Tampa Bay
Florida COVID-19 Response – FAQ’s
Florida COVID-19 Response – About Vaccines