Love in the Time of the Coronavirus
Experiencing the Coronavirus pandemic in an assisted living facility.
While the coronavirus epidemic savagely ravages our cities, here, at The Palace Gardens, an assisted living facility in Homestead, Florida where I have been living since February 1st, the garden is as beautiful as ever, meals are still delicious and life goes on peacefully for its more than 200 elderly residents.
It’s true that, because of the virus, families cannot visit since no one is allowed into the modern facilities except mask-wearing workers, and that the happy hour, a daily festive occasion, now has to manage without live entertainment. But The Palace is still The Palace.
For that, credit has to go to an amazing, almost unreal small army of immigrant women. With names like Odalys, Daisy, Yami, María, Consuelo, Misleikis, Jenny they are here for us, the mostly white old men and women (with a smattering of viejitas and viejitos like me) who populate The Palace, 24 hours a day with a degree of caring, compassion and efficiency that I dare my readers to find anywhere else.
Theirs is not an easy job. These women, in their blue uniforms, make sure every resident is clean, fed and comfortable, even the two that, at 104, are surprisingly lively, as are several ninety-somethings who lose their crutches and their canes and jump up to dance at every happy hour.
It takes stamina, dedication and, above all, a huge amount of love to do what these women do every day.
They are the ones that make The Palace special, not the building, the garden or the food.
Theirs is what Love in the Time of the Coronavirus is all about.