The pandemic has taken many of our loved ones from us and the virus has been especially dangerous to our older population. But there are stories of recovery that amaze us, like the story of Norman and Sivia Mann. Who, both in their late 90s, vowed to love each other in sickness and in health and that was put to the ultimate test after they both contracted COVID-19 and survived.
Both Norman and Sivia are back home in their senior living community after going through one of the most challenging times in their 76 years of marriage.
“We started to worry about them and I thought, ‘Wow, this is it,’” said Stacy Mann, their daughter.
Her father, Norman, will be 99 in March and her mother Sivia is 95. They both live under hospice care. Norman suffers from Parkinson’s and Sivia has Dementia.
“As you get to such an advanced age and especially somebody with Parkinson’s, everything is very difficult. Now and again you hear about people of advanced age that are very mobile and really amazing. Really unique humans. And while my parents are really unique humans, their age has been really difficult on them,” she told NBC 7.
Due to her parent's condition, Mann was allowed weekly visits by the senior living home where her parents live.
“While I was there, the caretaker got the news another caregiver who had been there the week before had tested positive for COVID-19,” she said.
On November 23, both Norman and Sivia tested positive for COVID-19.
“My mom had some congestion and slight cough and my dad had a cough and they did an X-ray and he had pneumonia,” Mann said.
Mann says her parents were moved to a COVID-19 unit at a skilled nursing facility.
Sivia’s symptoms remained mild, while Norman had to be hospitalized. Luckily, Mann says he recovered fast.
Three weeks later they were able to go home.
“And the next day my dad made an order with Instacart,” she said laughing. “There wasn't anything to eat.”
Due to the current restrictions at their senior community, Mann is once again unable to see them. While she wishes she could visit, she understands safety comes first and for now she will settle for seeing them from behind a screen.
“Thank goodness there's Zoom and FaceTime and WhatsApp and all these things we can utilize to stay connected even though we can’t actually be together,” Mann said.
Mann says her father told her the worst part about COVID-19 was being separated from his wife while he was hospitalized.