ANOKA, Minn. — A son’s act of love for an 88-year-old father is proving to be an antidote to coronavirus anxiety.
On Sunday, Charlie Johnson was photographed in the parking lot of an assisted living home, visiting his dad on the phone through a window.
That picture has already been shared on Facebook more than 600,000 times.
“I broke down in tears when I seen it and I just wanted to share it with everybody else,” Sandy Hamilton, a nursing assistant at Whispering Pines Assisted Living said.
Hamilton asked Johnson’s permission before posting the photo. Neither expected the flurry of sharing that followed.
“People probably need it right now,” Johnson said. “The country’s in disarray a little bit and I think they need a little hope, support.”
Bernard Johnson worked as a machinist before he retired. He’s lived at Whispering Pines about six months and his son has visited every day.
Charlie Johnson said his father suffers from a variety of ailments and is on oxygen, making him high risk should be exposed to COVID-19. The son fully supports the decision to put Whispering Pines on lockdown.
Sharon Compton, Whispering Pines’ vice president, hopes the much-shared photo will inspire others to come up with creative ways to visit seniors who can no longer get out, or receive visitors.
“Maybe when people are dealing with fear and the uncertainty of the future, just to know there is some normalcy - you’ve just got to figure out where it is,” Compton said.
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