Former Oberlin Resident

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00:00:00 - Skepticism about moving to Kendal at Oberlin

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: To start, could you tell me about how you came to live at Kendal?

Resident: Yeah, let me ask you a question about your question. I mean there's literally a moving van, and the moving from 45 Colony Drive in Oberlin, so that's how I got here. Do you want more of the story of why I decided to come?

Caroline: Yes, I guess a better question would be like what drew you to Kendal and why you decided on Kendal.

Resident: Okay. So, I've lived in Oberlin since August 1971. So it's been a long time. Umm 51 years I think. And I came to teach at Oberlin College. I came from Berkeley California. And so, when Kendal was being proposed in the late '80s, I was I guess in my 40s. In 1971, when I came here I was 27 years old. So in my 40s, I was hardly ready to sign on. They wanted people to say "Yeah, I'll move there!" because they needed money to build. You know they needed investment from people who would come. And I--it was one of the last places I would want to be at that time. And it wasn't just my age, of course. Most of the people who conceived of Kendal and got it going were retiring Oberlin professors. And the last thing I could imagine doing was retiring and spending the rest of my life with these people I was working with day in and day out. And I wanted--that was one thing. And another to be very frank was that it was very waspy. And, and when I came I was one of the first--I think I was the first Jewish one at Oberlin College. Or at least at the time. Umm I was the first Jewish--I was only about the third woman ever in the English department. And I was the only woman in the English department, I was the only Jew. It's not that I'm super Jew at all, but to live in a place like this was ODIOUS (laughs).

Segment Synopsis: This resident was an English professor at Oberlin College when Kendal at Oberlin was established. At first, the resident could not imagine living at Kendal because she did not want to live with her current colleagues at Oberlin College. Moreover, Kendal did not have many Jewish residents.

Keywords: Jewish; Oberlin College; Odious; Reluctant; Retiring; Waspy

Subjects: Community; Moving

00:03:09 - Friends, family, and finances are deciding factors in moving to Kendal

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Partial Transcript: Resident: So..(laughs)..what changed? So, Kendal changed a lot. Kendal expanded greatly and at this point I think that the retired professors make up you know no more than 20-25 percent. And there's a huge percent of people who are Oberlin connected. You know Oberlin alumni. That's fine. They get a pass (laughs). Parents of Oberlin students, no problem. Parents of Oberlin professors--wow! That's really interesting. And JEWS! At last count there are 34 Jewish people here, and I keep counting. I'm painting myself in a really odious way. To be totally frank, 34 out of 350 is almost 10 percent, which is much higher than the population at large. So-- AND what else changed? More people my own age moved here. So it wasn't just you know this other generation. And some people I like a lot moved here. There is one woman who's here who I adore. And so the chance of being more friends with her because I was acquainted. And we have done very many things together, but the idea that she'd be my neighbor, maybe friend, was really big. And I know there'd be others. I had other friends who were thinking of coming. And another factor was that I was married. Which I wasn't in the late 80s. And my husband, whose a treasure--see I am--my husband he was quite enthusiastic about coming. I was dubious. I wouldn't say dreading or reluctant but pretty dubious, but his enthusiasm changed me or changed my attitude. And then the renovated cottages were more appealing. More light because light means a great deal to me. And then alternatives appeared less inviting than they had. For example, I wanted to move to Chicago, and we looked. Chicago is one of my favorite cities--I wanted to be in a big city. And on a lake. And Chicago has fantastic theater and it was halfway between my husband's grown children and their families. So we'd be at a really good point to see grandkids. So we looked into several places in Chicago, and they were kind of out of the question financially after 2008 because the housing market collapsed. And what we could get for our Oberlin house wasn't enough to really do a buy-in and then really live at the higher cost of living in Chicago. So all of those factors. After moving here and being here a while, I really love it, which I hadn't expected to be really enthusiastic, but I am. But I keep that quiet in Oberlin because people who don't move here don't want to hear it. They just think it's a big affectation and that it's a cult and "don't tell me about Kendal." So I keep it quiet with my friends. But between us.

Caroline: So you're a secret admirer of Kendal [laughs]. I love it.

Segment Synopsis: This resident became willing to move to Kendal at Oberlin, as Kendal gained residents from more assorted backgrounds and as people her own age began moving to Kendal. She found Kendal more appealing because she knew and liked her potential neighbors, and her husband was enthusiastic about living there. Finally, other potential options like moving to Chicago became unfeasible after the 2008 financial crisis. Today, she admits that she loves Kendal, although she keeps it to herself when she's with her friends from the outside.

Keywords: Age; Cost of Living; Cottages; Cult; Dubious; Enthusiastic; Housing Market Collapse; Husband; Jews; Light; Married; Neighbors; Oberlin College

Subjects: Community; Family; Finances; Friendship; Moving

00:08:14 - Disorientation during the first days of the pandemic

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: I want you to think back to the first days of Covid-19. What were your first reactions and what were your anticipations for what it would be like?

Resident: Okay, well so the first few weeks we didn't have the "hard close." You know there were a lot of things happening. We were starting to wear masks, which we made out of bandanas with rubber bands. They stopped serving food in the
dining rooms. I think that um...I'm not sure when they locked some of the doors and we couldn't go through. But there was quite a bit that happened in the country--I mean the pandemic was on before you know there was the shutdown of the whole country and the hard close at Kendal really corresponded right with that. You know governor's mandates and other things. So as the pandemic is building. And you know we're aware that people are dying right and left in New York and the hospitals are overwhelmed and the morgues are overwhelmed: that's all before the hard close here. So we knew it could be coming. We knew that we might need to have a quarantine. But when the hard close was announced it was still really shocking to my system. For all of the mental preparation to actually have that happen. And I wasn't even aware of how sort of disoriented I was. My attention span. You know it's the kind of thing--when something big happens in your life, it isn't like you think, "Oh, this is confusing," you're just confused! And you think, am I confused? I guess I must be!

Segment Synopsis: The resident discusses that the country and Kendal began showing early signs of the pandemic before Kendal entered total lockdown. Looking back, she recognizes that she was in total shock, but things were moving too fast to identify those feelings at the time.

Keywords: Attention Span; Confused; Confusing; Country; Death; Disoriented; Food; Governor's Mandates; Hard Close; Hospitals; Locked Doors; Masks; Mental Preparation; New York; Overwhelmed; Quarantine; Shock; Shutdown

Subjects: Dining; First Reactions; Loss; Mental Health

00:14:46 - The strict rules of lockdown rules and the "spies" who enforced them.

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: Would you be able to describe what the hard close meant at that point?

Resident: Okay, here's my memory. My memory was that we were asked--no we weren't asked we were told--these were rules, and you were going to have to leave Kendal until further notice if you didn't want to follow these rules or if you broke them. And the rules were, you go nowhere. Outside Kendal. You can go to a doctor's appointment with all kinds of prior work and permissions and Kendal being in touch with the doctor's office--I mean it wasn't for any routine appointment. It was, you know, like if you needed a defibrillator or really big stuff. And there were people who on their way home from the doctor's stopped at Drugmart and were seen there! They were sent letters of reprimand and told that they would not get permission to leave again (laughs). I mean somehow there were spies--people were spotted at Johnny's. They were publicly, not by name, but publicly known. Yeah, we could not go out the gate--at all. And nobody could come in, except the staff and contractors and they had to go to the employee entrance and be questioned and you know and only--anyway no visitors. No visitors whatsoever. And the people in the care center dying, sick--no family, no visitors. And I mean those were state rules too.

Segment Synopsis: The resident explains that they were told by Kendal's administration could not leave campus except for extreme circumstances. Residents got in trouble after they were sighted taking unsanctioned trips to the local pharmacy and liquor store. Only staff and contractors were allowed to enter campus from the outside, so family members were not allowed to visit.

Keywords: Care Center; Contractors; Death; Doctor's Appointments; Dying; Follow Rules; Gate; Hard Close; Locked-in; Permission; Questioned; Reprimand; Sick; Spies; Staff; State Rules; Visitors; You Go Nowhere

Subjects: Administration; Loss; Personal Freedoms; Rules and Restrictions

00:17:22 - Residents got creative to deliver mail and meet up with friends

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Partial Transcript: Resident: Our food was delivered once a day. And there were all kinds of elaborate aspects of that. And then we were at first, you could go get your mail, but then there were too many people around the mailboxes at the same time and you know that little space in the back of the mailboxes, that's where people would get their packages from. So, I mean all kinds of things were started like assigned times to pick up your mail. And then, there were tables out in the lounge where you would sort your mail, so you wouldn't sort your mail near the mailboxes to throw away all the junk mail. And there were teams of residents who delivered the packages to other residents so that people weren't back there. There were residents who delivered the papers in the mornings because the paper delivery couldn't come in anymore. So residents were doing huge amounts for other residents. It got to the point where you could go for a walk with somebody else if you kept a six-foot distance--you would have to walk with a six-foot distance and of course with masks on. And you know no getting together in any space. You could make arrangements to meet people in certain places, and this only gradually, in places like the pen room with reservations and people six feet apart and wearing masks. We had a birthday party for my husband in one of those with friends. Yeah, so it was severe.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee describes several lockdown-related restrictions and the ways that residents adapted to them. For instance, the residents formed a system for delivering mail to prevent overcrowding at the mailboxes. Kendal also gradually allowed for more socially distanced gatherings.

Keywords: Assigned Times; Birthday Party; Food; Gatherings; Getting Together; Husband; Mail; Mailboxes; Package Delivery; Packages; Paper Delivery; Severe; Six-Foot Distance; Teams of Residents; Volunteering; Walking

Subjects: Adaptations; Community; Dining; Helping Others; Outdoors; Rules and Restrictions; Safety

00:19:40 - The pandemic in one word: gratitude // Food delivery at Kendal

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: Can I ask...I'm totally going off script here, but this is good. This sounds like a huge restriction of your personal freedom. What kind of mental toll did that take during that time?

Resident: So, I'm going to skip to another question because it's related to this. You asked if there was one word to describe my experience. So alongside shock, and disorientation, and incomprehension, that is it took a while to comprehend and sort of really take it in and kind of understand what is life like now, but almost from the very beginning and more and more and more as things happened, my key word was gratitude. (long pause) So I was very grateful to be somewhere where I actually didn't have to think "should I," "shouldn't I:" "Should I go to the grocery store?" "Would that be safe?" You know, answer, no! (laughs) We'll get your groceries for you. Really? Yeah! Okay! So even though we could only order things from IGA every other week. We only got a delivery from IGA every other week and you could have no more than 15 items, but if you had three cans of Campbell soup it counted as one item. But, I was grateful with all of this actually to be really safe and not to have to take any risks. Whereas people who were still in their homes had huge amounts of freedom but how to use it and how to stay safe. You know, it was a tradeoff. But I was very grateful to have Kendal's services along with Kendal's severe restrictions. We had people who shopped for us at Drugmart. And you could get--you could order three items. But you know, but the thing is, guess what--you could order things from Amazon and have it delivered! Right?

Segment Synopsis: The one word this resident would use to describe her pandemic experience is gratitude. She was grateful that she did not have to make constant decisions about what was and was not safe because Kendal made those decisions for her. She also describes Kendal's grocery delivery program.

Keywords: Choices; Disorientation; Food Delivery; Grateful; Gratitude; Grocery Shopping; Grocery Stores; IGA; Incomprehension; Risks; Severe; Shock; Tradeoff

Subjects: New Habits; Personal Freedoms; Rules and Restrictions; Safety

00:22:48 - Preparing for lockdown by stocking up and seeing Lake Erie one last time

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Partial Transcript: Resident: And we also when we knew the hard close was coming on Friday, we did a lot stocking up. On Saturday and Sunday. We went to Costco--we bought a lot of stuff. Including food because I wasn't sure if Kendal would have enough food because we were already hearing and we were already experiencing shortages. I mean there was already hoarding. I remember on that weekend, as Bruce says, we went out and made certain things were there before we couldn't see them again--we went to Lake Erie and made sure it was there--that's how Bruce, my husband, tells the story. There was a little pub up on Lake Drive along Lake Erie and we took a picture of a sign that said if you buy a hamburger you'll get a free roll of toilet paper. So I know there was hoarding by that time. So we were worried. And you know things were in short supply. There were lots of things you couldn't get. Things like flour to bake your own bread because people were baking their own bread. Anyways, so we stocked up on a lot of food in case Kendal didn't have enough. And we actually only finished eating some of it about three weeks ago.

Keywords: Bread; Costco; Flour; Food Shortages; Hoarding; Husband; Lake Erie; Stocking Up; Toilet Paper; Worried

Subjects: Dining; Family; First Reactions

00:24:36 - A community of people committed to keeping each other safety

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Partial Transcript: Resident: Anyway, we had a lot stocked up so even though we could only order three things from Drugmart or 15 things. And then you know, before very long, we could order things from Walmart. They didn't at first have where you could order and people would go you know get things at Walmart. And then a Kendal van would pick all of our stuff. And then when the van would---it was really funny you know we'd all be out there with our carts to take our bags back home. So the little neighborhood is gathered in the parking lot. And I said it was like the middle ages with people coming to the central fountain to get their water. So there were funny ways in which people had this--you know there was a lot of "we're in this together" and people who really hated that. I didn't. I really feel I'm one of those camaraderie people. We're in this together! And I really felt that. I really felt how important it was to participate in a community where we were committed to keeping each other safe. And a lot of the restrictions which other people resented hugely and were angry about I wasn't because I was aware of people who were immunocompromised, immunosuppressed, very elderly, umm respiratory problems, aware of the toll that Covid was taking on elderly people. And I feel I've benefited so much from the community here, from the brilliant people and activism, and the many gifts I received from other people in terms of their time and service. That it meant a lot to me actually to participate in a really big effort to keep other people safe. It really meant a lot to me to do that. So that was how I felt, cerebrally (laughs).

Keywords: Activism; Camaraderie; Committed; Elderly People; Gifts; Groceries; Grocery Delivery; Immunocompromised; Neigborhood; Older Adults; Ordering Food; Participate; Participation; Service; We're in this Together

Subjects: Adaptations; Community; Helping Others; Resident Disagreement; Safety

00:27:43 - Zoom: Revolutionary communication with friends and family

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Partial Transcript: Resident: Eventually I really started zeroing in on how to organize my life. And then there was Zoom. SO my object (laughs). So when people say "We can't hear you, put on your earphones." So this is my object, you know the headphones and earphones for doing Zoom. Zoom made an enormous difference. In not only being able to see people at Kendal. There had been a group of women. We ended up calling ourselves "the six of us" because we would always say, "are the six of us going to meet again." We had celebrated somebody's birthday a little before this hard close. And had a wonderful time together, six women all living here. And then we met again and we just loved talking with each other because it wasn't idle talk. We really talked deeply about issues and gave each other tips about an issue and then we would read about it and talk about it. So, guess what, we became a Zoom group and met once a week. And then being able to meet with more family, that really we wouldn't be able to do except at a big family reunion. Like Bruce's father celebrated his 105th birthday on Zoom. He just died a few weeks ago at age 107. But imagine, I mean he has like 21 grandchildren, so there were things that wouldn't have happened. And of course, they weren't in person, but you know, you know we got to meet a grandson's girlfriend who we might not have met for a very long time. And lots of things at Kendal. And we began doing plays on Zoom, which I hated at first, but we did a pretty good job. And I did direct one of those. So Zoom really was transforming. I think about communication near and far.

Segment Synopsis: The resident chose her earbuds as her pandemic-related object because of the new importance of Zoom in allowing her to communicate with friends and family. First, she began a regular Zoom group with five of her best friends from Kendal. She and her husband attended birthday parties and met distant family over Zoom. Therefore, Zoom allowed her family to have gatherings that would have never happened in person.

Keywords: Birthdays; Gatherings; Group of Women; Headphones; Plays; Talking; Transformative; Transforming; Zoom; Zoom Groups

Subjects: Communication Technology; Coping Mechanisms; Family; Friendship; Innovations; New Habits; Talking

00:30:44 - New habits: Knitting and vigorous physical activity

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: Other than Zoom, do you have any other coping mechanisms or hobbies and things?

Resident: Yeah! Great question. I forgot that question. Yeah because in my long spiel I didn't do that. So let's think. Oh, so another object. I have another object, sorry! I never let go of just one. Okay, so this object is actually knitting. But do you see? I have four long needles because during a Zoom today, some of this came off the needles and now I'm putting it on different needles and trying to get it straightened out. But um, wait here's the good side. It's a sweater and what's on here, and I hope, so maybe you can see there are two pieces. So these are the two fronts of a cardigan. So it's starting at the bottom. Do you knit? So you start, very often you start at the bottom. That's the ribbing at the bottom. And then going up. And then eventually I'll cut in through the arm holes. And then go up. And then cut in for the shoulders. Anyways, I did a lot of knitting while I'm Zooming, and then I end up with a disaster. But I knitted before, but I hadn't been knitting for a while, so I've been knitting while Zooming, I think the biggest thing that I've realized doing Zoom is that I have needed vigorous physical activity because being able to get out and walk and at first you know we couldn't walk anywhere other than the perimeter path, which I got tired of, but not as tired of as I would have expected. Because almost everywhere on the perimeter path you can look in one direction and see some trees and other things. Almost everywhere so you don't have to look at the cottages. And you know the other good thing about the hard close-- so it started in I think mid-March. So days were getting longer and spring was starting. And so, you know, every time you're out there's a new bud, or you know something you can keep track of. And then bicycling as much as I could. And then once we could get out, you know, getting on the bike path. And then, eventually being able to swim again. And then we did, my husband and I had been in one of the exercise classes that met Tuesdays and Thursdays. So during the stock-up time, that weekend, we bought weights so that we could exercise at home. So that has been really--I mean I had not before felt I needed so much vigorous physical activity. I hadn't done as much. I didn't go biking or walking as much. And it's persisted, and I feel really great about that. So that's been big.

Keywords: Bicycling; Exercise; Knitting; Perimeter Path; Physical Activity; Spring; Swimming; Trees; Walking; Weights; Zoom

Subjects: Coping Mechanisms; Hobbies; New Habits; Outdoors; Physical Health

00:35:23 - Zoom allowed for new hobbies

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Partial Transcript: Resident: But the other huge thing is, so I'm in two book groups that met by Zoom. I was in another sort of theory group that met by Zoom that involved Zooming with somebody in France who was the leader of this theory group, this incredible intellectual who just died. So two book groups, theory group, of course you know the personal groups. And then also by Zoom, my piano lessons. I started taking piano lessons in the fall of 2019. So not very long before Covid. And I'm beginning, I mean really beginning, like to the point of I didn't remember what came after do re mi (laughs). I knew there were some syllables, like maybe was it "la"? That's how beginner I am. But I could have my piano lessons every week on Zoom. And since I'm such a beginner it didn't matter that the sound was lousy. You know the teacher still could teach me very well. So those are my coping mechanisms.

Keywords: Book Groups; Piano; Piano Lessons; Theory Groups; Zoom Groups

Subjects: Communication Technology; Coping Mechanisms; Friendship; Hobbies

00:36:53 - Kendal's leadership moved swiftly to establish Covid-19 restrictions

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: That's lovely. It sounds like you picked up a lot of new hobbies and Zooms so wonderful. You've talked about your own personal experiences and you said before the interview started that there was an exceptionality to Kendal as an organization, so I'm wondering if you could talk about Kendal's pandemic response as an organization.

Resident: So, as I indicated, I'm one of the people who hasn't been angry and felt, oh they're treating us like children, which many people felt--because Barbara Thomas did get, I mean I did think that she could've used better language on some of her communications because there could have been more of you know as a community could we agree to do--or I believe that we ought to do x, y, z and I hope that you will all agree. But there was, I mean this is the executive officer and these are the rules. And it was I mean there was a bit of a punitive aspect to it. And I'll tell you about one thing that I did that was reported (laughs). So I think some of the language, some of the ways that these really severe rules were enforced could've been done more--what would be a word..considerately? Respectfully? I didn't think it was disrespectful. But anyways, I did not feel that. I felt it was efficient. I thought Barbara Thomas and others knocked themselves out day and night dealing with so much that had to change like that (snaps fingers). You know there were so many things they had to conform to in terms of federal and state and county health requirements. And all the new logistics. I wanted to do my part. I guess I've been in charge of enough complicated things myself, but nothing on that scale, that I appreciated what I considered very responsible leadership even if there were a few mistakes.

Segment Synopsis: The resident discusses the response of Kendal's leadership. Looking back, she says that although Kendal could have been more considerate in the way that they communicated the new rules and restrictions, she understands that Kendal had to be efficient. She recognizes that Kendal's administration had to work overtime to keep up with federal, state, and local health requirements.

Keywords: Angry; Barbara Thomas; Change; Communications; Disagreement; Do My Part; Efficient; Health Requirements; Language; Leadership; Logistics; Mistakes; Punitive; Reported; Responsible Leadership; Rule Enforcement; Severe

Subjects: Administration; Personal Freedom; Resident Disagreement; Rules and Restrictions

00:40:18 - Residents enforcing the rules by reporting on other residents

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Partial Transcript: Resident: So I'll tell you about my act of disobedience. So this is when--this would've been like April or May maybe. We were finally, finally, permitted to go over wildflower hill and walk in the township park. It was the first we were permitted to do. There was no indication that you can't meet a friend of yours over there--nobody said that. I have a friend that I had walked with for years, so we met there (whispers), but not by secret or anything. I mean there wasn't a rule about it that I knew. So I took off my mask over there because I was walking really fast, and when my friend appeared, I couldn't find my mask. So we kept 6 feet apart. And I did eventually find my mask. But at one point I was unmasked and she was masked, and I showed her something on my iPhone. It was me in my very first piano recital which had been by Zoom. Somebody at Kendal walking on wildflower hill saw us and they were convinced I was taking a Selfie without my mask on and reported me to Barbara Thomas (laughs). And there was something on her daily newsletter about people meeting in the park without masks on and taking selfies. So I wrote that it was me, and as far as taking a selfie, I was holding my hand out at six feet not to take a selfie but to show my friend something on my phone. And I had a mask--I couldn't find it, I found it soon after. But I wasn't defensive. I was saying I want you to know, I was the person, here's what happened. And I, you know, want that to be in the open. And so she wrote something else the person who did this explained everything and it wasn't what it appeared to be. So that was very nice. But that's the kind of thing that happened. You can see why some people had short tempers about some of this.

Caroline: Well, it makes it less of a community feeling. You know, it makes you feel like you're being watched.

Resident: Yeah, you know someone was likening it to the Stasi the other day. You know in East Germany where people reported on their neighbors. You know my specialty in English was Shakespeare. And at that time in England they didn't have a police force. They depended on people snitching on each other.

Segment Synopsis: The resident tells the story of when she and a friend were accused of breaking Kendal's restrictions. She lost her mask while on a walk with this friend, and someone reported them for allegedly taking an unmasked selfie together. They were called out in a Kendal newsletter for their indiscretion which led her to explain the real story to Kendal's CEO.

Keywords: Barbara Thomas; Disobedience; Gatherings; Neighbors; Open; Reported; Selfie; Short Tempers; Snitching; Stasi; Walks; Wildflower Hill

Subjects: Administration; Community; Friendship; Masks; Personal Freedoms; Resident Disagreement; Rules and Restrictions

00:44:13 - Living in a community during Covid-19 allowed for valuable social interaction

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: So two more questions that I have, because you've hit everything of your own accord, which I appreciate. But there has been like, and part of the reason I'm doing this project is because, there's been a lot of news, and especially at the beginning of the pandemic, about like what was going on in communities of older adults like Kendal. And I feel like a lot of times those stories were separated from what everyone else was experiencing. And so I'm wondering, as someone who's actually lived that experience, what would you want people living outside Kendal to know what it's like living in one of these communities during the pandemic?

Resident: Yeah that's a wonderful question because it seems really important to me that people from the outside when they heard about the hard close, you know were horrified. Like, I would never live anywhere where that would happen to me. And I would never live anywhere where I couldn't go where I wanted when I wanted. And it isn't just Americans, but it's sort of extreme with Americans. And then people you know feel it's very unsafe to live at a place like Kendal where you know there are people who could easily get infected and infect other people, it's you know densely populated. People could feel frightened, people could feel frightened about living in close proximity to other people in a dense residential living situation. You know running into so many people and having these restrictions on your life. And you know in this kind of gossip, I mean you know did you see that somebody wasn't wearing a mask, by name? But I think that we had more, you know really meaningful access to other people than most people did. Because there were at least 15-20 people that I could go for walks with. Like that (snaps fingers). And I did! And once we could form bubbles, which was pretty well in, I think that was in the late spring/early summer. You know, we had one other person, and we did a lot of things together. We chose our podmate because my husband and she both play recorders, and they're the two best recorder players and otherwise they couldn't play together. So I think we had, despite certain restrictions, much more comforting, meaningful, safe social situations than most people did. And more services. You know people going to shop for us, we didn't have to take the risk of going in any stores. And eventually you know very safe ways of going to the doctor's, doing other things.

Segment Synopsis: This resident knows that people outside of Kendal often react with horror and fear when they hear about the lockdown restrictions and think about living in a densely-populated residence during a pandemic. However, she contends that Kendal allowed her access to more meaningful social interactions than other people her age living alone during Covid-19.

Keywords: Americans; Comforting; Connections; Densely Populated; Frightened; Gossip; Hard Close; Horrifid; Infections; Meaningful Access to Other People; Pods; Risks; Safe; Services; Snitching; Social Interactions; Social Situations; Spies; Unsafe

Subjects: Adaptations; Bubbles; Community; Friendship; Personal Freedoms; Rules and Restrictions; Safety

00:48:26 - Kendal was a safe and meaningful refuge in a time of danger

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Partial Transcript: Resident: And we really had a very, very low rate of any infections. There were no residents who were infected for at least a year. And then it was just one--And I think to this date, I think it's no more than 15 residents over 2 and a half years. And as far as I know none of those infections came from other residents or from the staff. They were all as a result of visitors or their going out and doing things. That is an incredible record, and I don't think it is completely unique. Bruce's father in his assisted living, there were no resident infections whatsoever of any kind the whole time. It's much smaller. So there are plenty of places that have been very safe. And where people are very able to live meaningful, really meaningful, rich pretty rich lives. And we certainly are by this time at Kendal. So I would want people to know that and not be afraid or reluctant. I know we have some friends in town who were offered a wonderful cottage on the big rock pond, and they passed it up (gasps dramatically) because they said we wouldn't be able to see our grandchildren. Well, they were mistaken, because you could! But people didn't have good perspective on what it really means. So I'm a great fan of a place like Kendal. You know, you can hear I can be critical but I would want people to know that places like this and especially Kendal are really a safe and meaningful refuge in a time of danger.

Segment Synopsis: In contrast to the negative stereotypes about communities of older adults, this resident argues that Kendal offers both safety and fulfillment. She describes that Kendal had an extremely low number of Covid cases and zero local transmission. She talks about friends who chose not to move to Kendal because of misconceptions about the restrictions.

Keywords: Afraid; Assisted Living; Grandchildren; Incredible; Infections; Meaningful; Misconceptions; Refuge; Reluctant; Rich Lives; Unique

Subjects: Community; Covid Cases; Friendship; Rules and Restrctions; Safety

00:51:15 - Looking ahead: Taking more risks and ongoing uncertainty

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Partial Transcript: Caroline: I guess for my final question, I know for me and for everyone attitudes toward this pandemic and hope have fluctuated up and down a lot in the last year or so, especially with the last Omicron hit. I'm wondering about how you're feeling about the future of the pandemic and your own future at Kendal at this point.

Resident: Well, obviously, if we had to choose one word it would be uncertainty, right? I guess others are frustrated and tired. But at this point, so I take some moderate risks compared to some people. That is, some people take more risks and some people take many fewer. So we've gone to one play. And we've gone to two concerts at Severance Hall. And we're gonna go to another play very soon. You know, wearing masks and showing vaccination cards, so anyways, and I've gone to two movies (laughs) in two years plus. We get takeout food sometimes. So I feel that my life is not back to complete, you know "normal" in the sense but I feel like I'm leading a really satisfying, stimulating, meaningful life. And if there would be a really serious you know shutdown again, I mean given that we're vaccinated and that we can get boosters and more things are being developed and even therapies, I know that I can survive. I mean I'm very grateful because I'm healthy. You know so many things to be grateful for. I don't generalize this to anybody else but just for me I know I can get through it. I know that Kendal can get through it, I know many people can get through it and that we have so many technologies now that help us. So I have no fear and I have no dismay. I would love to be able to plan more. To be able to plan something with family, like when I can go see my brother. But I'm not unhappy about not being able to, I'm not seriously frustrated, just a little teeny bit frustrated like oh gosh it would be nice if we could do that but we can't.

Segment Synopsis: This resident says that her good health and the new Covid-19 technologies will allow her to get through whatever the pandemic brings next. She has started to take more risks like going out to plays and movies. She is frustrated with the uncertainty and wishes she could plan things with family.

Keywords: Activities; Concerts; Frustrated; Grateful; Healthy; Meaningful Life; Moderate Risks; Movies; No Fear; Normal; Planning; Risks; Takeout Food; Technologies; Therapies; Tired; Uncertainty; Vaccination Cards; Vaccinations; Vaccines

Subjects: Family; Future; Physical Health

00:54:47 - Rapid vaccine development // Ongoing Covid-19 crisis in health care

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Partial Transcript: Resident: I'm in awe of what's happened with the development of the vaccine in less than a year. I mean normally it's taken 10 years, and I mean they did jump the gun by making it emergency approval. But they had so much to go on, it wasn't like just taking an unbelievable risk with people's lives. It's astonishing how much we have to help us. I guess my biggest concern is really for the health community. For the medical community. I mean people are so burnt out and people are dropping their jobs and all the people who are filling the hospitals desperately, desperately ill and dying because they didn't get vaccinated. You know over 90%. That really grieves me and I think it to some extent angers me, but those are the losses that I really regret so hugely. There are so many people who have made enormous sacrifices. You know we talk about soldiers giving their lives for our freedom. But the health workers have given their lives. So I really do feel real grief about that and about the families who weren't able to be together when family members died. But that's getting much, much better.

Segment Synopsis: This resident was amazed by the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines. Despite many reasons to be hopeful for the future, she knows that the pandemic is ongoing for healthcare workers and the unvaccinated. She also grieves for the people who were not able to be with their loved-ones when they passed away.

Keywords: Anger; Astonishing; Burnt Out; Caregivers; Death; Health Community; Healthcare Workers; Hospitals; Medical Community; Staffing Shortages; Unvaccinated; Vaccine Development

Subjects: Future; Grief; Loss; Politics