Senior living community says bye, bye to quarantine with special barbecue for residents, family

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, residents of a metro retirement community bid their quarantine farewell on Friday, celebrating with a party.

Over the last 100 years, Shirley Finck has been to her share of barbecues. But Friday’s was really special.

“Well, it’s nice I’m having it with my children,” Finck told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

After more than a year of being at arm’s length, residents of the Hammond Glen retirement community in Sandy Springs were given a “bye, bye quarantine” party.

“It’s like spring is in the air. We’re happy. You see more smiles on faces, even though you can’t ‘see ‘em,’ see ‘em. But there’s a lot of smiling eyes. You feel the joy,” said April Parke, life enrichment director at Hammond Glenn.

The community has worked hard to stay connected.

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Channel 2 Action News was at Hammond Glen nearly a year ago for a socially distanced Mother’s Day.

Loved ones weren’t allowed to get too close, so they took part in a parade. But vaccinations have allowed administrators to relax the rules.

“It was just nice to be able to go inside and see my mother in her apartment. For the past year we’ve just been meeting outside,” Finke’s daughter Barbara Landay said.

Finck told Petersen that the last year has been tough, but after a century of living, she’s seen tougher and tries to be an optimist.

“It looks like things are getting better, and I’m still alive to experience it,” Finck said.