Shirley Weinstock, 91, lives in a studio suite at Jewish Home Family at Rockleigh, a senior residence in New Jersey, not far from Manhattan. On a recent weekday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting her in a Zoom call.
Since mid-March, when most US states entered Covid-19 lockdowns, retirement homes have banned all visitors, though most now permit outdoor, social-distanced visits. Group recreation programs were cancelled, or at least postponed indefinitely. Weinstock, like people in care homes around the world, also had to adjust to eating meals alone in her room for a spell, rather than in the dining room with friends from the building.
How does she feel about these changes? She shrugs. “I know that whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it for our safety, our health,” she tells me. “They had us confined to our apartments, they brought us our meals.”