In one fast-moving week, Johnson and many other area seniors found that their worlds had shrunk to the size of their apartments and still have not opened up, despite the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Over the past year, Johnson has visited in person with no one but her daughter and son-in-law, who live in Spotsylvania County. When they got sick with COVID-19, she saw no one until they recovered.
She spent Thanksgiving alone, eating dinner with her niece in Chicago at the other end of the phone.
She talks to the driver who delivers weekly meals and monthly activity boxes from Healthy Generations, and sometimes visits with friends from the door of her apartment.
When she ventures out to pick up her mail, she wears a mask and gloves and if she sees someone coming toward her, she’ll turn the other way or step aside until they have passed.
“I’m in the age bracket where people are dying,” Johnson said.
Eight people she knew in Atlanta and several of her friends from the Senior Café have died from COVID-19.
“It is very serious,” she said. “I have to be cautious.”
Still, Johnson said she won’t let the virus bring her down.
“I get lonely, but ‘depressed’ is something I don’t do,” she said. “I’m going to read, I’m going to watch a documentary, I’m going to call someone on the phone, I’m going to pray.”