Villager’s death proves that COVID-19 virus must be taken seriously

Tragedy hit home Friday when we learned that a Villages resident had succumbed to the Coronavirus.

Sadly, 84-year-old Village of Winifred resident Carol Lynch lost her life Thursday after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 24. Lynch’s health rapidly took a turn for the worse before she died, leaving her family and friends mourning the loss of someone described as the “Eveready Bunny” and a “force to be reckoned with.”

Carol Lynch

Four other Sumter and Lake County residents also have died as a result of the virus. They are described as an 83-year-old woman, a 68-year-old man, a 74-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man. We’re not sure if any of those victims are Villagers, as the Florida Department of Health only releases the county where they reside. But given their age, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they also are residents of the mega-retirement community.

All of which brings us to this – every resident who lives in The Villages and those in the surrounding communities must take this pandemic seriously. In fact, we all have an obligation to follow Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order and practice social distancing and other precautionary measures when going to places like grocery stores or pharmacies.

As we all know, the order allows for things like walks or enjoying exercise in the fresh air. But it’s imperative that it doesn’t take place in groups, no matter how stir crazy one might be or how much friends are missed. Keeping a six-foot distance from others who may have the virus has never been more important, especially given the fact that more than 10,000 people have now tested positive in the Sunshine State.

Carol Lynch, center, with her daughters.

There’s no doubt that Villagers are missing the old days of town square entertainment, eating at their favorite restaurants, going to recreation centers, swimming, playing softball and visiting dog parks with their lovable pets. Toss in the fact that pickleball and tennis courts also have been closed and we’re not surprised to learn that residents want their fun-loving lifestyle back.

We’re also aware that some Villagers – particularly when news of the COVID-19 virus first came to light – didn’t exactly take the virus seriously. Some were seen crowding around area bars before the governor shut down restaurant dining rooms. Some held large-scale parties in their homes. Some tossed out the 6-foot separation rule while playing golf. More than once groups were spotted gathering at Lake Sumter Landing. And let’s not forget that Villages pools were shut down because residents wouldn’t follow the rule of 10 or less in the water at any given time.

Amazingly, it got to the point where Sumter County sheriff’s deputies had to start patrolling the area and encouraging people to adhere to the social-distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We think it’s beyond ridiculous that sheriff’s deputies had to get involved with the need for the use of common sense. And we find it shameful that because of the careless actions of a few people, those deputies had to put themselves at risk.

Golfers were out this past Thursday morning in The Villages.

The Churchill Pool was a popular place on the afternoon of March 18.

Let’s remember that Coronavirus is moved by people. If they stop moving, the virus eventually goes away. People stop dying – more than 170 in Florida, more than 7,100 in the United States and 278,000-plus across the globe. And we’ll be able to put this horrific ordeal behind us once and for all.

Here’s the bottom line: If people follow the governor’s stay-at-home order, wash their hands, keep surfaces clean and stay at home when they’re sick, it stands to reason that a huge dent will be put into the spread of COVID-19. That means that we – all of us – have the ability to play a huge part in ending this pandemic.

Vendors were breaking down at Lake Sumter Landing on Friday, March 13 after the St. Patrick’s Day celebration was shut down.

At some point, town squares, restaurants, pickleball courts, recreation centers, pools and dog parks will reopen. Those socializing opportunities many crave will come back soon enough. And before we know it, The Villages lifestyle will be up and running in full force.

But that simply can’t happen until this horrible crisis is under control. We all have obligation to do our part to make that happen. Frankly, we think it’s a small price to pay to protect yourself, your loved ones and friends from a virus that could make them suffer greatly and possibly claim their lives.

More Headlines

Villagers side with Michigan renter stiffed by investment property owner

Readers of Villages-News.com are siding with a Michigan man who lost $3,200 on an April rental when an investment property owner refused to issue a refund. Read what they have to say.

Haciendas of Mission Hills woman gets break in shoplifting case

A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.

Photos

Glossy Ibis Takes On Banded Water Snake

Check out this amazing shot of a glossy ibis taking on a banded water snake at a pond in Fenney. Thanks to Sam Boatman...

Early Morning View Of Lake Sumter Landing

Check out this early morning view of Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing his photo! Share your local photos with us at...

Gator In Water At Lake Sumter Landing

This alligator was spotted in the water at Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Aleisha Harrington for sharing her photo! Share your local photos with us...

Letters to the Editor

Citrus thieves!

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of De La Vista East resident describes the theft of citrus from her home.

Business

Pier 1 Imports announces plan to close all 540 stores amid COVID-19 crisis

Another popular business in The Villages is calling it quits as the nation continues to wrestle with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Crime

Haciendas of Mission Hills woman gets break in shoplifting case

A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.

Opinions

Phyllis George blazed a trail for women

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks back on the life of the life of Phyllis George, a former Miss America who became a trailblazer for women.

Top Stories

Resident of local assisted living facility tests positive for COVID-19

A resident of an Oxford assisted living facility has tested positive for COVID-19 as Florida surpassed 50,000 cases of the potentially deadly virus on Saturday.

Villagers side with Michigan renter stiffed by investment property owner

Readers of Villages-News.com are siding with a Michigan man who lost $3,200 on an April rental when an investment property owner refused to issue a refund. Read what they have to say.

Haciendas of Mission Hills woman gets break in shoplifting case

A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.

Letters to the Editor

Citrus thieves!

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of De La Vista East resident describes the theft of citrus from her home.

We could stop the trolls

A Village of Tall Trees resident, in a Letter to the Editor, offers an idea for stopping the trolls.

The rush to reopen churches

A Village of Winifred resident is suspicious about the rush to reopen churches while there are still concerns about the Coronavirus. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Crime

Haciendas of Mission Hills woman gets break in shoplifting case

A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.

Woman arrested after alleged attack on man who called her ‘filthy names’

A woman was arrested after an alleged attack on a man who called her “filthy names.”

Accused Summerfield Icee bandit jailed after theft at Pilot Travel Center

A Summerfield woman found herself behind bars early Wednesday morning after being accused of ripping off several items – including a $2.02 beverage – from a retail travel center.