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How seniors are coping with COVID-19 isolation

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 19:50:14-05

The senior population across the country have been adjusting to life in solitude since the pandemic took hold in the spring.

But what has life been like?

Chris Conte spoke with his 90-year-old grandma, Laura "Nanny", about what it has been like for her.

"When you’re as old as I am you don’t look too far ahead," she said.

Nanny lives by herself just outside New York and has suffered during the pandemic.

"It’s the same thing for day after day after day, not to be out of the house, you feel like you’re in prison," she said. "But this is a beautiful prison I’m not complaining, I can’t imagine how people who live in a little apartment function."

Her life in the pandemic is reflective of the life of many seniors across the country since the coronavirus reshaped what life looks like on a daily basis.

"It is scary, when you’ve been in the house this long and I haven’t seen you guys, everything is big deal for me now a days, it wasn’t ever," she said.

She has only left her home four times since March and like many other seniors, is terrified of the virus.

"I don’t want it, I know Chris, I’m 90 years old, I know, but not like that. That’s not the way I want my life to end," she said. "When people die you pay your respects, there’s a closeness but you can’t even have a real funeral, it’s just horrible."

And nearly a year into it, she still takes extensive precautions — wiping down her mail, leaving groceries in the garage.

"I’ll use another wipe to bring it in the house, it’s ridiculous, I laugh at myself," she said.

While it has been a long, lonely 10 months, there is hope on the horizon. Laura is set to get her COVID-19 vaccine this week. But it won't be an immediate solution to go back to normal.

"Even after you have the second one do you think it’ll still take time to be comfortable going out?"

"Even then, I think so. Because everybody is not gonna have it," she said. \

Once vaccinated, she is most excited about going back to the theatre and seeing her family.

"New York is so full of things I want to do, still," she said.

While her family has accommodated during the pandemic, stopping by when possible. But she is ready to get out again.

"To go to someone else’s house! Just to leave. To leave the hosue, to go spend a day, an hour, just out of this house," she said. "We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it makes me happy."