At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Good Samaritan Society – Prairie Creek independent living residents in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, limited their activity trying to avoid COVID-19.

“There were several weeks when we couldn’t leave our rooms and they brought the meals to us,” 94-year-old resident Arlette Villaume says.

Thankfully for Arlette, restrictions on travel and having visitors have eased since then at her center and others. Still, masks are required as well as social distancing.

Vaccine a gamechanger

With a COVID-19 vaccine now available, Arlette and neighbor Dorothy Grevlos are hoping life at The Lodge returns to normal soon.

“Absolutely. That’s great,” Arlette says. “Because it’s going to help us not get the virus.”

Dorothy is excited a vaccine has been developed quickly and safely. Both are planning to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

“I’m very thankful for that. It’s all so new but I guess you kind of think of the years of the polio, scarlet fever,” Dorothy says. “Have faith that things are going to work out for the better.”

Nurse getting vaccinated for residents

Three miles down the road at Good Samaritan Society – Luther Manor, Marianna Brawand, RN, is also fired up for the future. Most of her positivity stems from being one of the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the Sanford Imagenetics building.

“I just want to protect my residents from COVID. I’ve seen a lot of them suffer through COVID,” Marianna says.

Marianna has also tested positive for coronavirus in the past. She knows, firsthand, how sick you can get. Her hope is everyone steps up and gets vaccinated like she did.

“That most people will get vaccinated in the long run and just see that it’s for the best of the people around them. The people at risk,” Marianna says.

In the meantime, Arlette is finding comfort in the safety measures put in place at Prairie Creek.

“I think in a place like this, we feel safe,” Arlette says. “We pray about it. We think that makes a difference too.”