Waters on 50th residents: Everyone ‘will wear a mask from now on’

The Southwest Journal is documenting the coronavirus pandemic by recording the personal stories of Minneapolis residents and workers whose daily lives are in a state of flux. As the outbreak evolves, we will be checking in with the participants regularly. Read all of the stories here.

All interviews are conducted over the phone, and conversations are edited for length and clarity.

Arminta and Ron Miller, residents, The Waters on 50th senior living community

Arminta: Beginning last Friday, they are taking daily temperatures of the people on the other side [in specialty care] and anybody in the independent section who needs help showering. They are going to be calling us on the independent side and asking about our health. If we have a tickle in our throat, a cough or a fever, they’re going to send a nurse to check us out completely. 

All of the people working here — the concierges and those who deliver meals and the cleaning people — will wear a mask from now on. I think it’s to protect us; they didn’t want us to be alarmed or scared because there are no cases here. If it makes them feel better, it’s good.

Tomorrow I thought I’d try this website, cyberseniors.org. They’re going to help us with video chatting, food ordering, video streaming, prescription refills and online banking. 

We live on the main floor, right off the garden area, and a lot of people were out walking or sitting today. A couple people had their family come up to the iron gates around the garden. They stood 6 feet away but people got to talk to each other. You could tell it cheered them up. Ron and I are going to do that tomorrow, just to get out and get the fresh air. 

Ron: They try their hardest to keep us healthy here. At this time in our life we’re at the right place.

Arminta: I think so too. He’s getting a little edgy. When the Super Bowl was here, our grandson who lives in Chicago got passes for him and Ron to do the zipline across the Mississippi River. When Ron was 70, he got some of his friends from high school to jump out of an airplane. So Ron isn’t a person who likes to sit still. 

Ron: When I get bored, I walk the stairway four floors and come back. … Being married 60 years, you have to be a daredevil.

Arminta: Yes, you do.