Fully Vaccinated Los Angeles Jewish Home Residents See Hope on the Horizon
Across the country, people are signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine, as they meet the criteria, and hoping it brings with it the beginning of a return to normal life. Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home are similarly optimistic, buoyed by having received both doses of the Moderna vaccine and eager to resume activities that bring them into closer contact once again with their families, their friends at the Home, and those who care for them each day.
"Ninety-nine percent of our residents, and approximately 80 percent of our staff, have now been fully vaccinated," says Noah Marco, MD, chief medical officer of the Jewish Home. "We did it efficiently and safely, which is a hallmark of how we operate here at the Jewish Home."
The speed with which Jewish Home administrators were able to secure sufficient quantities of the vaccine is a testament to the organization's skill, experience, and track record of success, Dr. Marco says. "We were very confident, based on our pre-planning and our relationships with the state and the county, that we would have enough vaccine for everyone. It took the average person at the Jewish Home less than 15 minutes from the time they showed up to receive the second dose, whereas many people across the city and around the country have to give up several hours of their day, if they can even obtain a vaccine in the first place."
Of course, even with the vaccine, the Jewish Home is treading carefully and thoughtfully, following all health and safety guidelines to ensure residents' and staff well-being as the pandemic stretches into its second year. But, many residents say, inoculation has definitely helped lift their spirits.
"I feel like there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel," says Elaine Cohen, a resident of Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer (JEK) Medical Center on the Jewish Home's Grancell Village campus. "I will someday be able to reunite with family."
Elaine's fellow JEK residents share her positive outlook. "I have a sense of relief and feel honored to have received the vaccine," says Indrani Mahaindra. "This is the beginning of the end of this horrible pandemic." Hersz Alterman notes how thankful he is that a vaccine was developed in such a record-breaking amount of time. "I'm grateful and appreciate science for creating the vaccine," he says. "Thanks to these incredible researchers, I will someday be able to hug my only granddaughter."
On the Eisenberg Village (EV) campus, residents are also starting to breathe a sigh of relief. "Our last two Town Hall call-in meetings with Jewish Home staff have been even more upbeat and positive, giving everyone a glimmer of hope," says Judith Karon, president of the EV Resident Council. "Residents are thrilled to see things beginning to reopen, like physical therapy and the campus beauty salon."
Sandy Fine, who has taken on a leadership role with EV's resident-run post office, says the response to the planned reopening has been phenomenal. "People really want to be part of it," she says.
Those people include residents Howard Krupnick and Norma Garber. Howard, a new post office volunteer, says he is "happy to have a job and to be helping out at the Jewish Home." As for Norma, she is delighted about finally being able to return to the Arts & Crafts room. "I was so ready for it," she says. "This is my happy place!"