As COVID-19 restrictions ease up throughout the United States, households saved aside have been in a position to reunite. For one couple married for over 60 years, coming collectively safely once more is all of the extra particular.
Alicia Barber, also referred to as @aliciajbarber1 on the video sharing platform, posted the emotional footage of her grandparents reuniting to TikTok on Monday. The video begins with a clip from the start of the pandemic, when her grandfather Robert was unable to enter the nursing residence to see Lauren, his spouse of 62 years.
Lauren pleads with Robert by means of the primary ground window, as she is shaken up by the rules that didn’t permit exterior guests into the power applied in March 2020.
“I’d like to be with you too,” Robert responds. “But because of the illness, we can’t do it.”
The video then cuts to the second when her grandparents reunite contained in the nursing residence, having each been absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.
“My grandparents were kept apart for over a year because of the pandemic,” Alicia writes in textual content overlay on the video. “But they’ve recently been able to start seeing each other again.”
The couple fortunately kisses as Alicia notes, “[My grandmother] has severe dementia, but still recognizes the love of her life.”
“How are you, baby?” her grandmother asks Robert.
“I’m OK,” he says, squeezing her hand tightly. “How [are] you doing?”
“I’m good,” Lauren says. “I love having you.”
“Well, I love to come and see you,” Alicia’s grandfather says, now utilizing each palms to affectionately maintain his spouse’s hand.
“It’s really nice for you to come over. You’re wonderful,” Lauren provides.
Alicia defined to Newsweek that although the 2 have been in a position to see one another throughout “a handful of mostly outdoor distanced visits,” they have been overjoyed to be reunited as soon as once more.
“My grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease and before the pandemic, my grandfather would visit her daily, eating dinner with her at night and tucking her into bed,” she defined. “My family has been fighting for months and months to try and allow for my grandparents to reunite.
“Within the previous six weeks, attributable to a drop in [COVID] circumstances and a few rule leisure, my grandfather has been in a position to go go to my grandmother thrice per week for 1 hour,” she added. “The video captures a second of readability and pleasure in my grandmother’s eyes, as she was so joyful and grateful to be seeing my grandfather and to have the ability to contact and kiss him after over a yr aside. He is the one individual she actually acknowledges.”
The video has since been viewed nearly 1.5 million times and liked by over 300,000 TikTok users.
“Tears are pouring down my face,” one viewer commented. “I’m truly crying! Their love is so stunning! Thank you for sharing this second!” another added.
Several others shared their own heartbreaking experiences with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“My Granny handed from dementia in 2019, she was sick for a number of years,” one viewer wrote. “She would all the time discuss her Edward and her two sons she misplaced to most cancers.”
“My grandma is in a nursing residence and in addition has dementia,” another shared. “A couple of weeks in the past [she] and my grandpa have been in a position to hug for the primary time in over a yr … love this.”
Alicia, who is a neuroscience Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, noted that Lauren’s diagnosis is what inspired her to study and research Alzheimer’s disease.
“I really hope that in the future households will now not need to face this unimaginable merciless illness,” she told Newsweek. “Seeing how little our nation and New York state particularly cared for my grandmother and others like her all through this pandemic drove me to advocate for her and the dementia inhabitants.”
Eagle-eyed viewers famous that the primary clip got here from Alicia’s earlier video sharing a dialog between the couple by means of the assisted care facility window, which was posted in March 2020.
That video, which has been seen over 5 million occasions, options Alicia’s grandfather explaining to his spouse that as a result of of “the new virus going around,” he would now not have the ability to come indoors for his or her common visits, a lot to her grandmother’s disappointment and confusion.
“This is the best we can do for now,” Robert says, as Lauren is heard crying on the opposite facet of the window.
“I love you…but don’t cry!” he provides, attempting to consolation her.
Alicia mirrored that the pandemic has been extremely difficult for each of her grandparents.
“My grandmother isn’t able to comprehend what is going on in the world or why all of a sudden no one was coming to visit her anymore or why she was spending most of her day alone in her room,” she advised Newsweek. “She was definitely crying a lot more, spending more time sleeping, and generally less responsive.
“My grandfather struggled not with the ability to see my grandmother or understand how she is doing or what her day appeared like,” she added, noting that technological challenges made phone calls or video chats particularly difficult. “So he actually needed to rely upon updates from nurses on her situation. It was definitely a lonely yr for them each.”
Alicia also told Newsweek that she decided to post both videos to her TikTok account because she considered them to be “a real testomony of their love and dedication to one another, as properly a reminder of the gravity of the pandemic and the time that has been stolen from them.
“It’s wonderful that millions of people have been able to witness the strength of their bond and the beauty of their love,” she mentioned. “In these divisive times, I believe it’s especially important for people to see stories of humanity at its core.”
Last June, an analogous video emerged of a mom reuniting with her children after spending weeks caring for COVID-19 patients. Their emotional embrace touched the hearts of hundreds of viewers on Reddit.