Drive-in UK care home visits for socially distant times

[cec_corona flag=false country_code=UK]

by Nicholas Mcavaney

The cars snaking past the bunting-adorned entrance of a British care home point to an era when even cherished family visits have to be socially distant because of the coronavirus.

Gracewell of Adderbury home for the elderly, in central England, is trying out drive-through family visits to protect its vulnerable residents from the omnipresent dangers of the new disease.

The anxious visitors sit in their cars, smiling encouragingly at their loved ones, while the elderly, some of them in their 90s, relax in comfy armchairs in the small driveway, soaking up the warm spring sun.

They try to chat a little at a safe distance, making the best of a trying time in which families have been forced to live apart for over two months while the government tries to stamp out a virus that has officially claimed around 38,000 lives — second only to the United States.

“Emotional, yeah, very emotional. I just wanted to hug them,” said Helen Hughes, daughter of one of the residents.

How difficult was it to resist that urge to reach out and hug?

“Huge. Huge,” Hughes said.

“I just want to hug them because they don’t understand what’s going on,” she said, trying to smile through the pain of being forcibly apart from her mother. (AFP)