Lockdown at Kendal: Rules and restrictions

Like other communities of older adults across the United States, Kendal enforced a strict lockdown. In-person social activities were prohibited and residents were not allowed to leave Kendal's campus. Residents describe the experience of having their personal freedoms restricted to maintain the health of their community.

Lockdown meant residents could not leave Kendal at Oberlin's property:

No one leaves: "My memory was that we were asked--no we weren't asked we were told--these were rules, and you were going to have to leave Kendal until further notice if you didn't want to follow these rules or if you broke them. And the rules were, you go nowhere." - Former Oberlin Resident

No choice: "Everything was shut down all of a sudden and we couldn’t leave our cottages and it just sort of–we had no choice (laughs) we just did what we were told." - Former Geriatric Nurse

The administration gave instructions on how to live: "You know we knew there was a staff and we knew that things got done, but we never thought–we never looked to this place for instructions as to how to live. And suddenly we were being told what to do and what not to do." - Larry Mirel

Kendal car pass

Kendal at Oberlin Car Pass

Residents and staff were required to show a car pass before entering or exiting the Kendal at Oberlin campus. 

Getting to the doctor:

Residents required a doctor's note: My one doctor still laughs about it, they required that we get a pass to leave campus, and if we go to the doctor’s office, the doctor had to sign the pass that we were there. My one eye doctor just laughed. He felt it was like (laughs) and he still jokes about it when I go see him–”no pass today?” - Former Geriatric Nurse

Only urgent medical appointments allowed: You can go to a doctor's appointment with all kinds of prior work and permissions and Kendal being in touch with the doctor's office--I mean it wasn't for any routine appointment. It was, you know, like if you needed a defibrillator or really big stuff. - Former Oberlin Resident

Extreme lockdown conditions were driven by Covid-19 unknowns and pandemic uncertainties:

Fear and turbulence at the beginning of the pandemic: "Again, all of the uncertainty and the fear and the exaggerations and the unknowns, and at the same time trying to keep us all safe, which we all respected. It was a turbulent time for sure." - Judi Bachrach

Overcautiousness in the face unknowns: "But you know a lot of the course of the disease was unknown by everybody. So they were erring on the side of being overcautious. And I think that’s right." - Larry Mirel