Marlyn MacDonald has a positive outlook on life. These days, she keeps it that way by staying fit, active and engaged with a little help from her fellow Scotia Village residents, the supportive staff and a successful second round of COVID-19 vaccinations at the community.

“You just have to think of all the good things,” she explains. 

Even though the pandemic has put many activities and events on hold, the community has responded with its usual uplifting spirit, creating new and different ways to enjoy life. According to Marlyn, the staff has done a great job of coming up with fun things for everyone to do.

Over the past year, resident services has made the rounds delivering ice cream floats and other delicacies during “Sweet Treat Fridays.” There have been various outdoor activities and games throughout the community. Plus, she’s been able to visit frequently with her husband who is in the assisted living area.

The couple visits virtually a lot. The staff has been particularly helpful in getting residents comfortable with using Zoom, Facetime and other technology “face-to-face” communication. But they also see each other in-person as often as possible. “I’m going to see him later today,” adds Marlyn. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Marlyn continues to enjoy the outdoor fitness classes and using the pool at the wellness center. There are still limitations, though, as she explains, “there are only three people allowed in the pool at a time. So, everything you do, you have to sign up for.” She also enjoys reading and playing games and puzzles on her iPad.

Along with visits with her husband, she loves to spend time with her little dog, Gracie, a blind shih tzu mix that she adopted recently from a rescue organization. “She’s a little sweetheart,” says Marlyn. “She doesn’t come to the door, but she pops up and waits for me to come talk to her and walk her.”

While the pandemic restrictions have been challenging, Marlyn acknowledges that it has been worth it to keep the coronavirus from gaining a significant foothold in the community. For that, she applauds the efforts of the staff and the community’s executive director, Allan Johnson. “He has the rules down and sticks by them,” she says. And this dedication is paying off with more amenities and activities becoming available to residents over time.

Like almost all of the other Scotia Village residents, Marlyn recently received her second dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The process of administering the injections “went like clockwork,” she says. “It went really, really well… very fast and very efficient.” She’s also happy to report that aside from a little soreness around the injection site in her arm, she felt no side effects from either dose of the vaccine. 

The MacDonalds came to Scotia Village in August of 2016, after retiring to Seven Lakes (near Pinehurst) back in 1995. They were attracted to the natural beauty of the campus as well as the genuine friendliness of the staff and other residents. Both worked as educators in the Hudson Valley of New York their entire careers.

The couple has three grown children, two daughters and a son, whom Marlyn can’t wait to have visit them soon.

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