63.8 F
The Villages
Friday, September 30, 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.

featured image
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.”

We have never had party animal renters

In a Letter to the Editor, a long-time landlord in The Villages dispels the myth that “party animals” are an epidemic of short-term renters in The Villages.

Gov. DeSantis is doing a great job for Florida

A resident of the Birchbrook Villas, in a Letter to the Editor, contends that Floridians should be thrilled that Ron DeSantis is their governor.

Enough is enough

A Village of Pine Ridge resident says it’s time to draw the line when it comes to traffic on Rolling Acres Road.

DeSantis digs up 15-year-old tragedy for TV ad

A Village of Hadley resident takes issue with a new commercial from Ron DeSantis about a 2007 incident involving an illegal immigrant.

We are thinking of moving to The Villages

A potential new resident details her plan to move to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.