Relatives, friends drive past residents in a parade at Shelby nursing home

Relatives, friends drive past residents in a parade at Shelby nursing home
Parade of cars at Shelby nursing home (Source: Photo by Jessica Robbins)

SHELBY, N.C. (WBTV) - Plans have been spoiled for nearly everyone, and people have been cooped up inside during these stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is especially hitting nursing homes and long-term care facilities the hardest. Residents there are the most at-risk individuals susceptible to the virus.

Since mid-March, facilities like White Oak Manor in Shelby have not allowed visitors inside. Many family members haven’t seen their loved one in person for more than a month.

Parade for residents at Shelby nursing home

So, on Friday, with residents and staff outside, wearing facemasks and abiding by the social distancing guidelines, many cars with family members drove by in a parade, directed by the Shelby Police Department.

Participation was huge. Many cars drove past, while police officers directed traffic.

The Shelby Police Department shared a video to its Facebook page.

Jessica Robbins says her 48-year-old brother-in-law Tony has been a resident at White Oak Manor since he suffered a brain an anoxic brain injury.

"Tony has always been a sweet soul," Robbins said. "And he's proved doctors wrong. He doesn't have a trach, or a feeding tube, and holds conversations with us. He does have a lot of physical disabilities but can name any song you play for him." Robbins says her mother-in-law used to visit Tony three to four times per week. Now, she can’t because of the coronavirus, and the worry that the virus may spread.

“This whole situation has been hard for our family and other families as well,” Robbins said. “Many of the residents are older and have underlying health issues. Several families are worried that they may never see their family members in person again. Thankfully, White Oak Manor has a wonderful staff and activity director who has created options for emails and mail, FaceTime visits on weekdays and they prepared an incredible parade last Friday.” Robbins said the parade meant a lot to her mother-in-law, and the rest of the residents. “When my mother-in-law got to Tony, he said, ‘I love you Momma,’” Robbins said. "This parade meant so much to not only the residents, but to their family members as well.”

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.