My Covid Story

Sadly, Deb’s father, who was a resident of a nursing home because of progressive dementia, contracted COVID at the long-term care facility and died earlier this spring.

Deb bravely shares the pain of the experience, including the oddity and discomfort of virtual mourning. She raises several issues that are universal right now, including how tough it is to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and the extent to which many things are unknown, and yet to be determined, about the COVID-19 virus. For example, many nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain closed to visitors; therefore to date, Deb and her siblings have been unable to go through their Dad’s belongings.

One silver lining that Deb shared: nurses, clergy, doctors, and aides from the nursing home were upfront and transparent about the rates of infection at the facility; they communicated every day with family members and seamlessly facilitated virtual connections with residents’ loved ones.

Deb also shared in the interview, although not highlighted here, that the virtual funeral service allowed her to see the guests face-to-face, rather than having her back to them at a place of worship; there were, too, people who could attend from many areas around the country and even other continents who may not have been there to pay tribute to her father’s life and blessed memory.

We talked as well about end-of-life decisions and the difficulty of having to do that remotely. Thankfully, given her Dad’s medical circumstances prior to contracting COVID, Deb and her siblings had many of those painful discussions with their father in advance of the virus; his wishes were clear and honored.

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