An elderly woman in a medical mask on her face. Elderly woman in a medical mask worries about coronavirus. illustration.

Lots of people visited the nursing home, but the sisters stood out because whenever they came to sit outside their mother’s window in the evening, they stayed for hours and hours, and then they came back the next morning.

On the other side of the window, Susan Hailey, 76 years old, COVID-19 positive, would sit up in her narrow hospital bed and look out at the world. As she ate, she would watch all the photographers, taking pictures of the building, and the pack of reporters, who first arrived in Kirkland, Washington, in late February, after residents at the Life Care Center nursing home started getting sick and dying. They stayed through March when, for a brief sliver of time (those were the early days), the suburban facility accounted for more than half of all known coronavirus deaths in the country. It seemed like a hellscape then. America’s viral ground zero. All those old, frail bodies, defenseless and exposed. But, of course, it got worse.

Susan didn’t mind the journalists and photographers outside the nursing home, though she wished her hair looked a little nicer. Mostly, she was sick of looking out at the world but not being able to touch it. She had come to the Life Care Center in November for just a few weeks of rehab after a knee surgery. The idea had been that she would get better quickly and that as soon as she could climb a dozen steps on her own, she would move into the second floor of Carmen’s house. But then everything went awry.

Read more and view the photos on California Sunday.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

manic pixie dream world

manic pixie dream world

Rayne: Eliza, do you consider yourself mentally ill? Eliza: Rayne, at one time, I would have said I am extremely mentally ill. I no longer say that....

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.