Waters on 50th residents: ‘They won’t even let dog walkers come’

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: They’ve really shut us down now. They won’t even let dog walkers come. People with pets who can’t walk them themselves are being asked to give the pets to their families. For a couple of these ladies, these dogs are the only thing that seems to be keeping them going. So I don’t know what’s going to happen here.

They are not cleaning the apartments this coming week because they are using the cleaning people to clean the entire surfaces of the building — the rugs and the windows and the things in the common areas. They’ve taken the chairs out of the front hallway where some people were trying to talk 6 feet apart. 

But Ron and I are doing OK, though he misses the exercise program. 

Ron: For people who were exercising, they’ve cleaned the weights and are bringing them into our rooms. They’ll give us the instructions for the 10 different exercises we’d do.

Arminta: He’s been doing sit-to-stand and he still walks up the four flights of stairs right near us every day. I have a hard time standing for a long period of time, but I’ve been standing and trying to lengthen that time out. Ron and I walk after the news at 10:30, so we’re getting our walking in, too.

We’re not just sitting here watching TV. We played some cribbage. I’ve been cooking. I’m not fond of all the foods here. We made chili and are making Sloppy Joes today. We made tuna salad and potato salad and I’d like to bake a cake. 

Ron: We get a letter every day and it tells us exactly what’s happening. It’s going to be a while like this.

Arminta: Everybody’s healthy here. We had a couple that had been on vacation in the Dominican Republic and they were tested here — though not with that swab. They had to go directly to their rooms and they had to stay for 10 days before they could come out into the hallways.