Seniors in South Walton are surviving the Pandemic with the help of each other


SOUTH WALTON Fla. (WMBB) — The South Walton John Horton Senior Center is still closed due to COVID-19, but that is not slowing down operations as much as you might think.

Many seniors in the Walton County community are trying to find their new normal, but with the COVID-19 vaccine, they are starting to feel much more protected.

“It’s been really hard,” said one Walton senior resident Robert Fitzgerald. “And as the saying goes, you get stuck in the house, and you get cabin fever.”

Fitzgerald went to the Senior Center often when it was open; however, it has been closed for the last six months. 

But he is hoping after receiving the Coronavirus vaccine, it will speed up the return to normal.

“To a certain degree,” said Fitzgerald. “Because I still have my wife, and she is not protected. I still want to go back to church, but I don’t want to go there and pick stuff up and bring it home.”

Other seniors like Frank and Claudia Peronace said they are also starting to feel safer.

“Makes me feel protective and freer to go about a normal way of life, and I am looking forward to that,” said Frank Personace.

The Senior Center Site Manager Sherri Roberts said she had been impressed with how many seniors are leaning on each other for support.

“I am thankful we still have food we can supply to them, and I am thankful that they can still kind of congregate here on this day,” said Roberts. “They kind of look forward to every other Monday. They come, and they visit, the ones that are comfortable.” 

Although closed, Roberts and other volunteers wanted to lend a helping hand by distributing frozen and shelf-stable food every other Monday.

“I was very afraid with being as closed as long as we were closed, that they wouldn’t come back,” said Roberts.

But she said that is not the case; all the seniors are anxiously awaiting the day they can gather once again.

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