The elders at Dunbar Village in Bay St. Louis on Monday commemorated the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown taking turns hitting a COVID-19 shaped piñata.

Dunbar Village therapist Pamela Williams said that Monday’s celebration was “more of what we have to look forward to and hopefully soon to be opening our doors back up and bringing some normalcy back to the elders and their families.”

“It’s been a long hard year for everyone,” she said. “Elders, care partners, administrators and all that. We’re really praying for a return to normalcy soon.”

Cindy Ward, chaplain for Notre Dame Hospice, led the elders in a prayer service.

Ward also asked the elders and staff to take a moment to remember and honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Ward said that the good news is that the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible.

“We have a vaccine,” she said. “It’s making it safer for us. It’s helping the virus to stop its spread.”

Ward said she wants to acknowledge any pain the elders are experiencing over the isolation and loss of loved ones.

“This has probably been the most unusual year in many of our lives,” Ward said during her prayer. “We thank you that you brought us to a place of hope again. I thank you that you provided endurance, you provided patience, you provided healing, Lord.”

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