An elderly woman in New York couldn’t celebrate her birthday as planned thanks to the novel coronavirus, so her family brought the celebration to her.
The woman’s family members couldn’t let her celebrate her milestone 95th birthday alone during the self-isolation period.
Instagram user Sara Byrne didn’t want to see her grandmother go without a birthday party. She took to social media to share a heartwarming video of family members singing Happy Birthday from a safe distance.
In the footage, her grandmother can be seen listening from her front door. Family members hold up signs that read “Happy Birthday” as well as colourful balloons.
“We had to keep our distance but we couldn’t not see our best girl on her birthday,” Byrne wrote in the Instagram caption. “Happy 95th, Gram, we love you so much.”
The bit of sweet news has been especially well received on the internet during this uncertain time.
“This is so beautiful,” one Instagram user wrote, while another chimed in: “Made me cry. Grandmas are the best.”
Another important milestone was celebrated in North Carolina earlier this month when Carly Boyd announced her engagement to her grandpa through a window.
On March 16, the newly engaged woman greeted her grandfather from outside the window of his nursing home room.
The centre shared two photos of Boyd showing off her engagement ring through her grandfather’s window. In the second snapshot, they hold each other’s hands, separated by a windowpane.
“A resident’s granddaughter tells her grandfather that she’s engaged,” the residence wrote on Facebook. “Emotional and memorable, for sure. Thank you, Carly Boyd, for allowing us to capture this special moment.”
Millions of residents living in nursing homes and other facilities have been stuck indoors with no guests, CNN reports. It’s forced people, like Boyd, to get creative with communication.
“I really wanted to be able to tell my grandfather because he has dementia and there’s no phone in there that he has access to,” Boyd told KOLD-TV. “I just really wanted to make an effort to tell him.”
“It was very special,” Boyd continued. “I got really emotional and really sad and I just put my hand on the window, and he put his there, too. I just told him I love him, and he said: ‘I love you, too, and I hope to see you soon.’”
As many around the world self-isolate or quarantine to limit transmission of COVID-19, the elderly remain especially at risk, and it’s recommended that they stay indoors.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
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