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