Nursing homes and retirement facilities across the country are locking down their access to visitors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving residents isolated.
But people across the country are answering the call to keep these residents from feeling lonely by writing cards and letters to let them know how much they are loved.
“If your children’s schools are closed and looking for something to keep them busy please consider having them write letters or color pictures and send the to our residents,” reads a Facebook post from St. Anthony’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rock Island, Illinois.
During this time nursing home residents are not able to have any visitors. I ask that any Frankfort students and others who would like to participate, send cards letting them know we are thinking of them. Add to envelope: ATTENTION ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR. Thank you! Please retweet! pic.twitter.com/LQtfWGzFAw
— Chloe Puffinburger (@chloe_puff37) March 17, 2020
— Chadsgrove School (@Chadsgrove) March 17, 2020
My girls are being creative today! They made cards for the nursing home and senior apartments to let the elderly know we are thinking about them. Hope others do the same thing. Just put them in a plastic bag outside the building and they will deliver them for you. pic.twitter.com/FGGQZgicUV
— sarah Halbesma (@Halbese) March 18, 2020
One group of siblings made national news this week for sending cards to nursing home residents, according to Good Morning America.
According to a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of catching the coronavirus.
Despite concerns that the virus could live on surfaces such as mail and infect vulnerable populations, CDC experts say that the risk is minimal because of “poor survivability” on products or packaging that is shipped over days or weeks.
“The paper that recently published, these are under ideal sort of experimental situations,” said Joseph Vinetz, a professor of medicine at Yale University and infectious disease researcher who was not affiliated with the study. “If somebody were to, say, cough … on a box or on a letter, the chances of that remaining viable for the period of time it’s in transit seems extremely unlikely.”