In the early days of the COVID pandemic, Carolyn had the honor of interviewing 94-year-old Louise Dillery about her 19 months in tuberculosis quarantine. She assembled Louise’s recollections of laughter, friendship and access to a luxurious new diversion — the television — into a short essay. Carolyn’s hope was that Louise’s resiliency and ability to adapt would provide inspiration for people struggling with COVID-related stay-at-home orders.
“I’m bored.” Louise spells out the word for emphasis as she laughs: “B–O–R–E–D.” The remark does not come across as a complaint, just a statement of fact.
“Louise Dillery is 94 years old. She understands why she can’t have in-person visitors or go out and get her hair done. She doesn’t feel compelled to break the rules. She knows the stakes of COVID-19 and what it will take to get through this. This is, after all, not the first time she’s been forced to stay inside: nearly seven decades ago, Louise spent 19 months quarantined inside St. Paul’s Ancker Hospital…”