By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Every person has lost something as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Some have lost family members. Others have lost jobs and opportunities. Students have lost the ability to hang out with classmates. For everyone, this pandemic has meant giving up something we love. Betty Cronin, a Sherborn resident, knows just how much the pandemic has affected seniors in the community. From having her own experience with COVID to seeing her favorite activities canceled to experiencing bouts of social isolation, Cronin has seen the effects of the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Cronin volunteered her time at the Good as New Shop at the Unitarian Universalist Area Church church in Sherborn. “That had to stop because of the pandemic. I don’t have that anymore,” explains Cronin. At her own home, Cronin cannot have visitors or enjoy meals with others. "It's kind of tough going," she admits.
In the early days of the pandemic, very little was known about the virus. The symptoms lined up with other illnesses, like the flu. In March, Cronin began feeling ill.
Testing for COVID-19 is a difficult task for those who don’t drive. Taking an Uber or a traditional cab service was unthinkable, with the risk of spreading the virus. Instead, someone from the Sherborn Council on Aging helped Cronin get to and from the hospital for her COVID-19 test. “The day I thought I had [coronavirus], I didn’t know what to do, so I called Sue’s office,” Cronin explained. Sue Kelliher is the director of Sherborn’s Council on Aging. She was advised to call her primary care doctor, who advised that she go to the emergency room to be tested. Kelliher and her staff helped find Cronin a ride to the hospital. Luckily, she was negative for the virus and returned home to recuperate.
Since her COVID-19 scare, Cronin has been keeping up her spirits. Many activities and parts of her routine have been canceled or changed to follow pandemic-era guidelines. “Attitude is everything right now. You can feel squashed and sad for yourself, or can do the best you can,” explained Cronin.
Betty Cronin already has a plan for what she will do once the COVID-19 restrictions end and it’s safe to resume regular life: “I’m going out and going to a nice restaurant that has white table cloths and waiters and waitresses dressed in white shirts and black skirts and pants and the food is good!”
The release of COVID-19 vaccines hopefully means that Cronin’s goal is just steps away. Until then, she’s happy to hunker down and wait out the storm.