Almost exactly one year into the Covid-19 pandemic that left seniors living in fear and isolation, residents in all four of Bria’s retirement communities rolled up their sleeves for their first Covid-19 vaccination. And the results have been remarkable.
“It’s quite a relief,” says Kathleen Watson, a Sunridge Gardens resident. “It’s made me feel a lot more secure and confident, especially when I leave our building to go to the pharmacy or shopping.”
Shannon Saunders, General Manager at Sunridge Gardens, agrees, “You could feel the weight lifting off everyone’s shoulders,” she says. “We still have to be diligent about practicing social distancing, we keep our classes and gatherings small, and everyone still wears masks. But right away we felt this difference, and now, a couple of months later, it’s easy to see the impact.”
“Before March, we were on pins and needles,” Shannon continues. “We regularly had residents self-isolating because of potential exposure. But since our first dose, we haven’t had any of that—no Covid cases, no exposure alerts, not even any symptoms. It’s pretty incredible.”
The same is true across all four Bria seniors residences. There have been no cases of Covid-19 among the more than 400 residents and 200 plus staff of Bria Communities since the first dose of the vaccine was administered.
Last year at The Wexford in Tsawwassen, the atmosphere on Mother’s Day was subdued. “Residents were self-isolating in their suites for their safety,” recalls Jane Bryce, General Manager. “We delivered champagne and chocolate door to door, and because the dining room was closed and their special Mother’s Day dinner also arrived via room service.”
This year, with antibodies coursing through their veins, residents at The Wexford enjoyed high tea served on tiered platters seated together but socially distanced in the dining room and lounge. Staff poured champagne, and a local harpist provided entertainment from behind a plexiglass screen.
“This is just a taste of the good days to come,” Jane notes. “We’ve already heard from Fraser Health that we can expect our next on-site clinic within the next few weeks.”
Kathleen Watson is eagerly anticipating what comes next, “I just can’t wait to get my second shot so we can all get back to normal!”