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                An Experience Never Imagined
By Charlotte Baker Manor House
I was halfway down the hall when I realized I had forgotten my mask. I begrudgingly turned around and hurried back to my apartment. I’d been wearing a mask for weeks, but it hadn’t become a habit.
The decision to move to Manor House three years ago was one
of the best I’d ever made. I felt physically and financially safe. Cooking was an option. Concerns about home and property maintenance vanished. But would I fit into this new environment? My concern was unfounded, as residents introduced themselves and bombarded me with invitations to join them in mahjong, bridge, knitting, and shuffleboard.
I came and went as I pleased, having to notify no one. My five table mates and I met every evening to enjoy dinner and each other’s company in the dining room. Also, mahjong, cards, and shuffleboard kept my mind and body active. All of Manor House was available to me, including visitations to friends in WillowBrooke Court. In the blink of an eye, the COVID-19 pandemic altered my lifestyle.
Earlier in the year, I saw TV coverage from China reporting the consequences of contracting the disease. I knew an infection that contagious would eventually find its way to the United States. It was not until March 10, 2020 that it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic was a part of my life. Social gatherings were prohibited, self-serve beverage stations disappeared, and CDC guidelines were the norm. Masks appeared out of nowhere.
Social distancing crept into the vocabulary and routine.
The news media filled their broadcasts with COVID-19 news. Infection and death totals increased daily. Panic gripped the public, resulting in hoarding. Long lines of shoppers snaked alongside buildings, hoping to get whatever they could after entering the

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