The last time he set foot outside the property was last Christmas, when his daughter took him home for a holiday dinner. He misses his favorite Italian restaurant and the Wheeling symphony orchestra he used to attend monthly.
Despite having Parkinson’s disease, Mr. Gerrero, an accomplished organist who ran his family’s music stores for decades, has managed to play tunes on the piano in the activity room to entertain himself. He reads the paper and watches TV.
But as days have turned to months, the monotony and isolation have gotten to him. A couple weeks ago, he called his daughter and begged her to let him come home.
“I am tired of this, I want to do something else,” Mr. Gerrero recalled telling her. “Little simple things would be wonderful. Every day is exactly the same, and then it starts all over again.”
On Tuesday, however, his spirits were lifted, he said. The director of the nursing home showed up at his side, with a list of residents and clipboard in hand, and asked if he was prepared to get a coronavirus vaccine.
“I told her yes. I was willing to sign up without asking questions,” he said. “We are all anxious to get over all this and get back to being able to associate with our friends and family face-to-face. Not being able to shake hands and give hugs, that’s hard.”
Mary Prewett, 84, who lives in an assisted-living facility in Memphis, Tenn., had never received even a flu shot, refusing one yet again just recently. Her daughter, Cecelia Prewett, got a consent form for her mother on Tuesday and wondered whether she would be receptive to a coronavirus vaccine.