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                The World We Face
By Mary Ann Ryan Buckingham’s Choice
On Saturday, March 7, 2020, I attended a matinee performance
of Irish Dancers at the Weinberg Theater in Frederick with my daughter Jeanne and two of her three children, Dalton and Brynne. The house was packed. I would estimate about a thousand people in the audience. After the show, we went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
That was the last time I saw them for four months.
In the first week of March, I was aware of the COVID-19 virus
but did not know of any local cases. Over the next few days,
news reports became much more explicit about the risks to older people and particularly those with underlying medical conditions. This was also when Buckingham’s Choice (BC) began to impose restrictions on group gatherings.
At first, we were told we could no longer have events with large groups of residents. Our BC chorus practice was pulled out from under us right in mid-season. Thirty of us had been rehearsing
for our May concert, meeting every Tuesday morning. But now
we could gather only in groups of fifteen or less, with no singing allowed. This rule was in place for about a week but quickly became more restrictive. All meetings of any kind were banned. No church, no speakers, no committee meetings, even if the groups were small. And no visitors, even close family.
Restrictions on gathering in the dining room for our dinners soon followed. All tables were removed from the dining rooms and the coffee shop. Dining services began delivering our one meal-of-the- day to everyone’s doorstep.
Housekeeping services stopped to reduce our exposure to staff. We were cautioned not to travel anywhere unless it was essential, and then only locally. Shortly thereafter, travel off-campus required a fourteen-day self-isolation period upon returning.

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