Jane (pseudonym), Resident

“Jane” (pseudonym) lives in Arlington, Virginia and enjoys being outside and in nature. The resident has a spinal cord injury that requires full care. Click the black squares below to hear and read about this resident’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded interview (edited for clarity) is available at the bottom of the page.

We were confined in a lockdown and confined to our own rooms beginning March 13th, and um, pretty much confined to our rooms for the rest of the spring and summer.

The absolute most important thing for me beside keeping my mind active is being outdoors and in nature if you can call that a hobby. It is really essential, you know, to my well-being and it’s very much a part, you know, of who I am in terms of activities. I have hiked the Appalachian trail, I spent a lot of time outdoors and in nature, and it’s something that is just the number one most important activity for me.

​​Public health officials all say outdoors is better than indoors and that was a very difficult message to get across to the owner operators. And I was only able to have success after making multiple efforts in many different ways by contacting my local state legislator who also happens to be someone experienced with aging and nursing home issues.

It’s enraging. You know I mean, thank God I was able to use some of that anger energy productively to try to really push to get outside. But it’s infantilizing that anybody would make the assumption that you lack the ability. It was just infuriating that there was this tradition on the part of the management that we shouldn’t be allowed outdoors.

I just want to say, I felt like my rights as an individual were ignored and I did not give up my basic rights, you know, when I contracted to live in a nursing home.

Click below for the expanded interview (09:13).