First reactions to the pandemic

Nine residents experienced feelings of heartache, shock, and confusion during the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Covid-19 meant no more visits with the grandchildren: 

"And I remember Stacy Terrell the Chief Health Officer and communicator for our end of the world in the care center here, saying, and this will happen, and of course no more visits and I remember I made this terrible face...the shutdown meant no more visits from my daughter who had just had a baby in December. So that was the first where I was like 'oh my gosh, babies change so much so fast.'" -Judi Bachrach

Moments from the first days of Covid-19: 

One more visit to Lake Erie: "I remember on that weekend, as Bruce says, we went out and made sure certain things were there before we couldn't see them again--we went to Lake Erie and made sure it was there--that's how Bruce, my husband, tells the story. There was a little pub up on Lake Drive along Lake Erie and we took a picture of a sign that said if you buy a hamburger you'll get a free roll of toilet paper." -Former Oberlin Resident

An unexpected Oberlin Conservatory concert: "I love to go to Finney and sit on the balcony and watch [the Oberlin Conservatory students]. And on Friday, March–I think about March 20th, 2020, I went to the rehearsal and it was a little different. It turned out that the school was just closing, which I didn’t even know. And this was supposed to be a rehearsal, but it became a final thing. And umm even though I usually was the only one watching rehearsal in the balcony, there were dozens of people there including the president of the college. And everybody knew that this was gonna be closed down." -Larry Mirel

Two years later, residents emphasize that they have never could have imagined the scope and duration of the pandemic:

"I don’t at all believe it would last as long as it did. And so we couldn't do anything for a little bit. But we certainly didn’t expect it to be two and a half years later and we’re still dealing with it." - Former geriatric nurse

"You know, I could never imagine that it would have changed our lives so much for so many months and even into a couple of years now." - Mary Simons

"It’s a, you know, a feeling of 'oh shit we’re going to be in for a long slog.'" - Dan Reiber

"My thought was that it was gonna be quick. You know, we would have maybe a month or two, and we would get it under control...I had no idea it was going to last that long or be that distressing." - Larry Mirel

First reactions to the pandemic