Social distancing sucks for everyone. Even introverts (like myself) are becoming antsy. Similarly, the coronavirus is scary for everyone, even those less likely to be effected by serious illness. However, without a doubt, there are people struggling more than others during this time. One of these groups of people are those living with special needs, or a rare condition which causes them to need special care, such as those living with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy and Covid19
Russell Bosler is a 31 year old living with cerebral palsy. He also has an intellectual disability. He lives in a group home with three other individuals. Of course, his home is not currently allowing any visitors. Not even his family is allowed to stop by.
The staff has been working overtime to help the residents not to feel so alone. But even so, its hard to adjust to a completely new routine, especially when you have an intellectual disability. Russell is used to going to church, taking music lessons, working at a shelter workshop, and participating in everyday activities in his home. Now he’s not allowed to go out, and it’s hard for him to understand.
His mother, Catherine Nold, has tried to ease his frustration by explaining the reasons behind the isolation. She says that it’s to protect the older people, like his own grandma. But he still doesn’t fully comprehend.
To make things easier, Catherine gives him little things to look forward to. They make a schedule, like calling someone at a certain time, to help him pass the days.
They take it day by day. Each evening, Catherine goes and sits outside on the deck of his home to talk to him for an hour. She feels for the staff who is sacrificing time with their own families to take care of her son.
She doesn’t talk about the possibilities of how long the pandemic could last. She knows that would only make things worse for Russell. A few months can feel like a lifetime for her son. So they take it moment by moment, day by day, and they will continue this way until it all passes.
You can read more about this family’s experience during COVID-19 here.