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 edited for length and clarity.
Arminta and Ron Miller, residents, The Waters on 50th senior living community
Arminta: On Wednesday Ron and I had an appointment with our doctor, and it wasn’t a virtual and it wasn’t over the phone — we needed to get cortisone shots in our hips. I hadn’t had them for a long time and every morning I was so sore it was hard to get up.
I had not been out of my apartment since this all came down. I hadn’t worn a mask before, and that was scary. I was hyperventilating and my glasses steamed up until I got it right.
My daughter and her boyfriend came and drove us over to the doctor’s. It was good just to see other people — the nurse and the doctor. We all had masks on and my daughter brought gloves for us. So we were safe, I felt safe.
Ron: You can tell what a boring life we lead. It’s a big deal to go to the doctor.
Arminta: And it was so beautiful out. All the flowering trees and the yards all looked fresh and nice — I had a really good day. It was nice to be free.
My daughter had a new screened porch, so we went over to her backyard and sat for a while in the sun. She’s got all these beautiful lilacs, and I love those, so she cut me some lilacs. It was just a beautiful day.
When we came back they took our temperature and signed us in and did a check.
They’ve planned a nice Memorial Day barbecue for us. We have to be in our rooms, but it’ll all be picnic stuff like brats and hamburgers and hot dogs and potato salad. And yesterday Bachman’s came — our particular apartment looks over the garden area — and they were planting all the plants and annuals, so that was fun to look at.
Ron: If you’re looking for a lot of excitement, we are not the couple. [When salons reopen on June 1] it will be nice to get a haircut. My hair hasn’t been this long since high school.
Arminta: They’re going to try to have us eat together, maybe in the middle of June. The tables will be distant. They always had two dinner seatings, now they’ll make it three so we’re less exposed to other people. We’ll have to have masks, I’m sure.
My daughter works downtown and she says it’s surprising how many people don’t want to wear masks. I guess they just don’t like to be told what to do because I don’t understand why they make such a big fuss about it.
Ron: They figure if the president won’t wear one, why should they.
VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC
- Barb Jones, infection preventionist, Jones-Harrison senior living
- Marcia Zimmerman, rabbi, Temple Israel
- Arminta and Ron Miller, residents, Waters on 50th senior living community
- Tracey Schultz, science teacher, Clara Barton Open School
- Peter Kumasaka, Linden Hills, emergency room physician
- Jen and Marcus Wilson, co-owners, True Grit Society gym
- Marion Greene, board chair, Hennepin County
- Jesse Vasquez, Uptown resident
You can read all of the stories here.