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The Villages
Sunday, January 16, 2022

1. COVID-19 and its controversies topped news in 2021 in The Villages

Villagers were scrambling to secure COVID-19 dosages at the dawn of 2021. By the end of the year, many were fighting vaccine “mandates” and questioning whether COVID-19 is a hoax.

In January, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a high-profile announcement in The Villages that Florida’s senior citizens would be the first to receive the coveted COVID-19 vaccines.

The Global Medical Response site in The Villages.

Villagers vigorously sought vaccination appointments at an outdoor clinic set up in a field at Buffalo Ridge Plaza. But when Global Medical Response ran out of vaccine and abruptly shut down the clinic, Villagers were frantic and began traveling to Florida cities far and wide in the statewide scavenger hunt for vaccination appointments.

Dolores Cramer

Dolores Cramer, 84, of the Village of Amelia had been living an isolated life for nearly a year due to the Coronavirus. Her family across the country fired up their digital devices when Sumter County Health Department’s online registration opened at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning with thousands competing for 340 doses of the vaccine. Her story became the norm.

By summer, Sumter County was leading the state in the percentage of vaccinated residents, notably senior citizens. Masks came off. There was a general sense of relief.

During the calm, a debate raged about government overreach and Villagers took to the streets to protest vaccine passports and mandates. Villagers for Trump staged a demonstration at Lake Sumter Landing.

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A protester urged resistance to vaccine mandates during a protest in August at Lake Sumter Landing.

By August, Dr. Gabe Mirkin was reporting that the highly-contagious Delta variant accounted for 93 percent of COVID-19 cases. By fall, boosters were suddenly in vogue.

Carl Rubin of the Village of Tamarind Grove and Henrietta Amey of the Village of Caroline are big fans of former President Trump.
Carl Rubin of the Village of Tamarind Grove and Henrietta Amey of the Village of Caroline joined in a protest in October.

With Christmas came the Omicron wave, leaving many Villagers wondering when life might get back to “normal.”

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

Officials need to take a drive on the multi-modal paths

A Village of Calumet Grove resident, in a Letter to the Editor, is urging officials in The Villages to take a drive at night on the multi-modal paths.

Is Florida’s lottery working for the economy?

A Village of Pennecamp resident wonders if the Florida Lottery is good for the state’s economy. Read his Letter to the Editor.

COVID-19 has flourished under the Democrat leadership

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Mallory Square resident contends that COVID-19 has flourished under the Democrat leadership.

What is wrong with Superintendent Rick Shirley?

A Bushnell resident, in a Letter to the Editor, wonders what is wrong with Sumter County School Superintendent Rick Shirley? The school board is set to vote Tuesday on approval of the book, “The Naked Roommate.”

No more denial of Jan. 6 insurrection

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Sanibel resident says there can be no more denial of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The Villages, Florida