Although the circumstances behind it are grim, three elderly women from the U.K. plan to become a real-life version of “The Golden Girls” amid the coronavirus pandemic. The three women, all in their 70s, said that if they need to isolate from the public, they want to do it together.
Doreen Burns, Carol Spark and Dotty Robinson have known each other for over 40 years, and decided they wanted to become roommates as a way to combat loneliness during self-quarantine, they told BBC News.
The three pals spoke with BBC News from Spark’s home. They started their video chat giggling and waving at BBC Breakfast reporter Jayne McCubbin. “We’ll have a supply of wine in,” Dotty joked.
They explained their plan. “A week in our own homes in, seven days, and then if we were still fit and well, we would decide which house we’d go live in,” Doreen said.
Each has a similar house, so they weighed which one would be best to stay in. One has a garden, which would be good for exercising. One has a nice front room, in case they need space from one another. “And I’ve got Netflix, so we could watch ‘The Crown.’ So I think I’m the winner,” Doreen said.
All three women are from Salford, England, and are very close. “Our children have inter-married and we’re godparents, aren’t we, for the other children,” Dotty explained. “We’ve seen each other through divorces and losses. We go on holiday together… we look after each other.”
The women admitted they do squabble — but for the most part, they’re very supportive of one another. McCubbin told the ladies she was giving them a “big virtual hug” until they could meet in person.
Self-isolation could become especially difficult for the elderly, who often live alone and are more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Nursing homes have been prohibiting visitors in order to prevent the spread of germs to older patients, and many elderly people who live alone have experienced difficulty getting food from crowded grocery stores.
Fortunately,vulnerable people get supplies, and many are even reserving hours for elderly shoppers, so they’re not exposed to crowds.
For other older Americans who can’t hunker down with their friends like these ladies, the Administration for Community Living has a list of resources, including tips for social distancing and information for people with disabilities.