Cottages staff and residents celebrate first vaccinations

Jan 14, 2021

It’s inoculation season in Dartmouth.

A week after doses were administered at Brandon Woods, the Cottages at Dartmouth Village took its first shots toward normalcy after staff and residents received their vaccines on Jan 13. 

Leonard Quintin, 76, was among one of the first residents to get the jab. Although he noted that he was “very excited” to finally get the vaccine, he said when he first heard that shots were being distributed, he was anticipating a different kind.

“I thought it was going to be a scotch on the rocks, but I was wrong,” he laughed.

Lifelong Dartmouth resident and former Peace Corps volunteer, Donald Gracia, 67, also didn’t mind the shot. He said that as a dialysis patient, receiving his first Covid vaccine “was a cakewalk” in comparison.

He added that while volunteering for the Peace Corps in the 1970s, he constantly had to get vaccinated against diseases that were common in the countries where he served.

“It used to be every month, you’d have to see the nurse in the office and get a whole series of shots,” he said. “This was nothing.” 

To celebrate the milestone, residents were provided with snacks, music, and even little bottles of champagne.

“It’s a real party,” Gracia said. “There’s even balloons — that’s how you know it’s legit.”

Program Director Allison Pina said that throwing a little party was the least the team at the Cottages could do for staff and residents following such a historic day.

“We even had a grandmother and granddaughter both get vaccinated — one is a resident and the other works here,” Pina said. “Like, how many people can say ‘me and my grandmother got vaccinated on the same day and the same place?’”  

With the first series of shots out of the way, Cottages staff are cautiously planning for life after the pandemic. 

Assistant Activities Supervisor Scott Machado noted that he’s already thinking about how future group activities will look. He added that until at least residents and staff get their second doses, activities will remain as small groups or one-on-one work. 

But the first round of shots, Machado added, is a good first step toward that return to large group work.

“Been looking forward to this for a while,” he said.