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Greatest Generation shows greatness again

Eugene resident Bernice Homan, 104, is one of many who received her second dose.

Posted: Feb 19, 2021 12:05 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2021 6:52 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The energy was high Friday at Willamette Oaks, a retirement community in Eugene, as eager residents received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials say 100 percent of the staff have been vaccinated, and only one resident has opted out of getting their first dose.

Eugene resident Bernice Homan, 104, is one of many who received their second dose. Homan survived the Influenza Pandemic in 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu.

RELATED: 103-YEAR-OLD SPANISH FLU SURVIVOR GETS COVID-19 VACCINE IN EUGENE

“That was easy - just like last time,” Homan said Friday.

Homan encourages everyone to do their part in the community.

“The people that are afraid of it—that’s silly,” Homan said.

As many put it, the Greatest Generation is breathing a sigh of relief after that second dose. That's generally defined as people born from 1901 to 1927.

KEZI 9 News spoke to several residents about what Friday’s event means to them.

Harriet Siegel is 100 years old and also received her second shot Friday.

“I miss not seeing family,” Siegel said. “My daughter lives here, but my sons do not and my grandkids do not. I would like to see them, but I haven’t seen them in quite a while.”

Many shared that Siegel is one of the most active people in the community.

“I go to every exercise class with Janet, and I walk everyday outside around the premises,” Siegel said.

Others in the community weighed in.

For Lynn Axelrod, who’s been at Willamette Oaks for seven years, she barely noticed the shot going into her arm.

“That’s it?" Axelrod asked. “That’s it!”

She is looking forward to what’s to come.

“What does the second shot mean? That I might be able to go to Fred Meyer or the mall or something like that, Axelrod said.”

Axelrod also misses community.

“Back to normalcy where we can walk on the bike path and just be a little bit normal,” Axelrod said. “I want to have our games, eat in the dining room again and everything like that.”

Joe Brazie is an avid traveler and is anxious to explore again. He said if you have the opportunity to get vaccinated — you should take it.

“There’s no reason not to for their own health and the health of those around them,” Brazie said.

Residents also miss the many activities the community offers.

Janet Hollander has been a resident for 33 years and shared her thoughts.

“We’ve had very small exercise classes,” Hollander said. “That's what I do. I do the exercise classes. I am really hoping for bigger groups. I think that will boost morale."

She said when everyone can have dinner together - that will boost morale too.

“It's not just for you personally," Hollander said. “It's really for the whole community -- the more of us who get the immunizations.”

The community is also celebrating their one year anniversary of when they put COVID-19 protocols in place — remaining COVID-free.

“I want to be protected as much as I possibly could be,” Homan said.

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