First nursing home vaccines arrive with punches and applause

The last time he set foot outside the property was last Christmas, when his daughter took him home for a holiday dinner. He misses his favorite Italian restaurant and the Wheeling symphony orchestra that he attended monthly.

Despite Parkinson’s disease, Mr. Gerrero, an accomplished organist who ran his family’s music stores for decades, managed to play tunes on the piano in the activity room to keep himself entertained. He reads the newspaper and watches TV.

But now that the days have turned into months, the monotony and isolation have gotten to him. A few weeks ago, he called his daughter and begged her to let him come home.

“I’m tired of this, I want to do something else,” Mr. Gerrero remembers telling her. Little simple things would be great. Every day is exactly the same, and then it starts all over again. “

On Tuesday, however, he was cheerful, he said. The director of the nursing home stood next to him, a residents list and a clipboard in hand, and asked if he was willing to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

‘I told her yes. I was willing to sign up without asking any questions, ”he said. “We are all eager to overcome all this and regain our ability to interact personally with our friends and family. Not being able to shake and hug hands, that’s difficult. “

Mary Prewett, 84, who lives in a residential care facility in Memphis, Tennessee, had never received a flu shot and recently declined again. Her daughter, Cecelia Prewett, was given a consent form for her mother on Tuesday, wondering if she would be susceptible to a coronavirus vaccine.