The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire developed world into a standstill. Although the virus isn’t deadly to young and healthy people, the mortality rate for the elderly and people with preexisting chronic illnesses is quite high. Among the most vulnerable people are the senior citizens living in nursing homes.
Nursing homes have issued a total lockdown and isolation on its residents. Even family members are restricted from visiting their relatives living in nursing homes. Strict isolation is causing depression among the elderly population living in a nursing home. Imagine living in a hospital-like setting where people are limiting contact with you to protect you from getting sick.
One nursing home in the US is visited by a therapy dog named Tonka. All the residents in the nursing love Tonka and most of them are always looking forward to Tonka’s weekly visits. Tonka always lifts the residents’ spirits, which is great for their mental health.
However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nursing home stopped visits from everyone, including Tonka. Although this is to protect the nursing home to have an outbreak that could potentially be deadly for elderly residents, the restrictions also caused a decline in the resident’s mental health.
Tonka’s mom, Courtney Leigh, knew that she and Tonka could do something in this time of disaster. Courtney started coordinating with the nursing home and eventually figured out a way for Tonka to visit the nursing home residents without compromising their safety.
She got the idea when she and Tonka visited an isolation unit in the hospital for cancer patients. The isolation unit had a glass window, and the patients were able to interact with Tonka even with the window separating them. Courtney asked if she could do the same for the residents at the nursing home, and when they all decided that it was safe, Tonka and Courtney started going around the nursing home windows saying hello to the residents.
Even with the window separating Tonka and the residents, the residents are so happy that their favorite dog is still able to say hello to them once a week. Tonka loves making people happy, and what he and Courtney do for the nursing home residents amidst the pandemic is truly remarkable. Here’s a video showing how Tonka makes the residents at a nursing home so happy.
Video Source The Dodo via YouTube