Double vaccinated, Sue Lonoff de Cuevas is back at a Medford, Massachusetts dance studio in a close tango embrace with her instructor. The retired academic, who gave her age as “well over 70,” called herself a “tango addict” who would “drive for two hours each way to be able to dance for an hour.”
Tango requires constant contact and the vaccine has given her the freedom to return to group social dances. Lonoff de Cuevas is among the more than 70 percent of Massachusetts residents 75 and older who are fully vaccinated, according to state data. After a year of quarantining, many are comfortable returning to former activities — whether it’s tango or simply taking the bus. But with most younger Massachusetts residents not yet vaccinated, and COVID-19 cases rising among the people under 30, other seniors are still cautious.
“I feel more protected, more able to travel just a little. I don’t mean on a plane yet,” said 84-year-old Joseph Caparco. “A little more that you can do, you now can do and feel safe, as long as you wear your mask.”
Most senior centers around Massachusetts are still closed, and it will be up to municipalities to decide when to reopen. At Medford’s “Ultimate Tango School of Dance” where Lonoff de Cuevas is now taking private lessons, group classes are still virtual. But she’s grateful for the COVID vaccines that brought far more than her tango back.
“Just the tremendous relief of no longer being worried that you step out the door and you’re felled by this disease,” said Lonoff de Cuevas, “It’s wonderful.”
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