Love in the time of the coronavirus outbreak is seriously difficult. Established lockdowns prevent large celebrations, encourage physical and social distancing, and isolation of high risk groups, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Carly Bovid, however, was determined to inform her beloved grandfather who was staying in a nursing home of a major milestone in her life.
Boyd, 21, became engaged to fiancé Trevor Sellers, 25, on a beautiful, sunny spring day in March 2020.
She said on a Facebook post, “Well today has officially become one of the best days of my life…. I’ve been asked to marry my best friend for life. So happy!!! Thank you to all my friends for helping make this day so special!! I wouldn’t want it any other way!! This day and place is where he asked me to be his girlfriend and here is where he asked me to be his wife!!! Thank you in advance!! Let the craziness of planning a wedding begin!!”
Boyd, couldn’t wait to share the exciting news with family and friends, but she was particularly keen to inform her much-loved grandfather. Response to the coronavirus pandemic, however, began to change usual everyday events in a very big way.
Shelton Mahala, 87, lives in the Premier Living & Rehab Center in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. Boyd, who is studying to be a nurse, is very close to her grandfather and wanted to tell him the engagement news personally. Unfortunately, due to risks of infection from the coronavirus, Mahala, like thousands of elderly people living in nursing homes, can’t see guests until further notice.
Boyd decided to get creative. With the help of some of the staff of the senior living facility, she was able to pull off a sweet surprise for her grandfather.
“When I arrived at the nursing home … I run around the building to get to his bedroom window and they pulled up his blinds,” she said. “I point to my ring and he realized I was engaged!”
“He was so happy he kept asking me, ‘When’s the wedding?” Boyd shared. “I know he feels a little trapped right now because of all the restrictions. We both said we love each other and it was just a really emotional moment.”
The unusual, but necessary, window announcement highlights the extra measures and precautions that many American have to take to limit the exposure of the elderly to COVID-19.
Definitive research into the effects of the virus show that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory illness, have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Boyd hopes that millions of Americans take the guidelines regarding COVID-19 to heart, to ensure the safety of the elderly and loved ones with serious illnesses. “When people think about going out and having a good time this weekend, I hope they realize that others are sacrificing very personal relationships and the social well-being of loved ones to keep everyone safe,” she said.
There is incredible sadness and fear all around, but touching and inspiring stories continue despite the doom and gloom brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Neighbors are inspiring each other with music and song. Online concerts and art classes help uplift spirits.
Whole populations are supporting and paying tribute to doctors, nurses, and other personnel on the front lines who continue to battle the disease. Birthdays and wedding anniversaries are celebrated, although at a distance.
All plans – work, vacations, parties, dining out, watching a movie, or simply hanging out – are on hold. But like Boyd, these are the times to be more creative in showing love for family, friends, and the community. Stay home, don’t spread the virus, and watch out for others. There will be plenty of time for celebrations after threats from the virus have been eliminated.