Saskatoon family surprises 95-year-old grandmother with hugging station Christmas morning

Lou MacDonald, 95, was surprised Christmas morning with a hugging station. Becky Scharfstein-Mcgettigan / Supplied

When the novel coronavirus hit Canada, it meant 95-year-old Lou MacDonald from Saskatoon couldn’t be around her family every day.

“We have been doing everything we can to make sure that she is safe during the pandemic,” said granddaughter Becky Scharfstein-Mcgettigan, standing at a distance in her grandmother’s back yard.

“We’re a very close family and we usually spend a lot of time together, so we’ve been dropping off care packages, doing grocery shopping and video chatting, and we were really missing hugs.”

Inspired by posts of families hugging through sheets of plastic barriers, Scharfstein-Mcgettigan’s family spend weeks designing and building a ‘hugging station.’

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Christmas morning, they surprised her grandmother.

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“I have not seen her this happy in months,” said Scharfstein-Mcgettigan, adding her grandmother had not been feeling well the last few days. She perked up the moment the surprise came out.

“She’s been having a great few days, she’s really excited about it, she’s just smiling all the time now and it’s beautiful to see.”

Becky shared photos of the surprise online. She said she’s happy she’s been able to make her family, people online, and most importantly her grandmother smile.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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