Council on Aging Update

Monday May 24th, 2021 

Yes, the good news is that the restrictions imposed by the new abnormal will be dropped soon and that means that we will be reigniting programs and activities which have been dormant since March 2020. It will be a gradual process through June, it takes awhile to arrange new schedules after being mothballed. We’ll post events and activities as they come back online, we’re hoping for an actual calendar on this page for July. 

We’re aware that many Covid era restrictions will fall this coming weekend. Finally! There’s always a however with this stuff right? We will continue to advise that individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks indoors, as well as outdoors when social distancing is not possible. I want to ask that we all respect anyone who continues to wear a mask after May 29, a group that will include people who cannot get vaccinated and those who are vaccinated but may need to continue masking for a variety of reasons. Thanks in advance. 

In addition to the clinic tomorrow we talked about last Friday (and there are still appointments available for tomorrow, the final first shot clinic in North Adams at St Elizabeth is this coming Thursday, noon-7:00 Pm and features first and second dose Pfizer jabs and also vaccinations from NBP. That’s Northern Berkshire Pediatrics folks. 

Thursday: 12p-7pm 

1st dose Pfizer pre-reg and walk-in: 300 12p-5p 

2nd dose Pfizer: 400 12p-5p 

NBP: 200 3p-7p 

While we’re talking vaccines, Beginning May 24, any individual who has trouble getting to a vaccine site is eligible for the homebound program. Individuals can call (833) 983-0485 to register for an in-home vaccination. The registration phone line is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and has representatives who speak English and Spanish, as well as translation services available in 100+ languages. 

After registering, individuals will be called within five business days by the state’s Homebound Vaccine Provider, Commonwealth Care Alliance, to schedule an appointment.The Homebound Program is primarily using Johnson & Johnson vaccines, a safe and effective vaccine that only requires one visit to an individual’s home. For individuals 12-17 years old who are homebound and would need significant support to leave the home to get to a medical appointment, the Homebound Program is offering Pfizer vaccines. Homebound youth are encouraged to register for the Homebound Program by Friday, May 28 to ensure that an in-home vaccination can be scheduled during the month of June.

More information on the Homebound Vaccination Program here 

Many folks will remember the Williamstown Friendship Club, a social community of Town elders who gathered here at the Harper Center for many years. Club activities included food, crafts, regular outing trips to restaurants, road trips to locations nearby and an annual Fall Bazaar. Oh yes, it was fun. The Club existed for approximately 40 years but formally disbanded about 10 years ago. Ultimately, decline in membership was the primary reason for its demise. While the Club was active, it was like a large extended family for many of the friends who gathered here and elsewhere. Members supported each other through good times and bad, laughed and cried together and generally had fun along the way. For the Council on Aging, it was a source of many willing volunteers. You know what they say about many hands making work light right? Subsequent to our collective experience with the Coronavirus we’ve learned the value of gathering as friends doing things together and sharing experiences, creating memories. Maybe we’ll talk about forming a new group, a successor to the Friendship Club sometime later in the year just to bring folks back together in fellowship. How does this sound as an idea? In the meanwhile, in the true tradition of the Friendship Club how about a serious bazaar? 

Last week Sheila Velazquez, a neighbor, suggested establishing “The Harper’s Autumn Bazaar.” This would be a show and sale by Williamstown elders (60+) of their crafts and art, open to the public. For those of us who knit, crochet, sew, paint, whittle, work with clay or other materials, this will be an opportunity to get and keep our creative juices flowing. It could possibly be expanded with a Spring Bazaar if it is wildly successful, which we know it will be. We hope to have a discussion, ok a meeting of minds, to talk about a plan to actually bring this Bazaar idea to life.If you’re interested, you can contact us at the Harper Center, or 413.458.8250, or Sheila Velazquez at Ideas, appropriate commentary, suggestions or intent to be a part welcome. Let’s hear from you! 

Finally, Bee Friendly Williamstown is offering a Native Plant Sale, June 5, 9 – 1 pm at the Williamstown Farmers Market. Pesticide-free, pollinator-friendly native plants, grown at Wing and a Prayer Nursery by Amy Pulley of Cummington. Landscape plugs, an economical option for both small gardens and for planting large areas, and small potted perennials will be available. 

Later, Brian

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