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Mother, daughter reunited after COVID keeps them apart for a year

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:09 PM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Vt. (WCAX) - Karen Zaretzky has been waiting more than a year for the moment she could embrace her mom, Liz McCredie.

“I got her some tulips,” Zaretzky said. “I think it’s going to be great.”

McCredie is a resident of the Terrace, an assisted living home in Woodstock.

The facility has been in lockdown during the pandemic.

Now, if you’re fully vaccinated, you may enter.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Does it feel weird to be inside?

Karen Zaretzky: Yes, I haven’t been this far.

Zaretzky had been visiting her mom through a glass window.

“It’s a blur,” she said.

And then-- the moment.

Karen Zaretzky: I can hug you, I’m in the building, do you see that?

Liz McCredie: You’re in the building and you can hug your mom.

Karen Zaretzky: Lizzie...

Liz McCredie: I’m going to knock you over!

The end of a very long year.

McCredie kept her sanity by taking up a hobby, painting colorful abstracts in those dark times.

“It was a purpose,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing to do when you’re locked up like we’ve been.”

The facility is far from a prison but the Terrace did follow all the state’s protocols. None of the 39 residents were sickened with COVID.

Joe Carroll: What are your thoughts because you can go out?

Liz McCredie: I’m going to run out the front door with joy!

I profiled McCredie just a few months ago. Zaretzky would meet her in what was called the hut. The structure is gone, but the memories linger.

“Very nerve-wracking,” McCredie said. “Really it’s been very unsettling I would say.”

Painting helped.

“I think it’s turned out to be a positive,” she said.

Susan Scibetta took over as the life enrichment director a week before the lockdown. It’s a year she’s relieved to see end for her and the seniors.

“I think at times, what I’m hearing is just when is it going to be over? When are we able to take off our masks? When is life going to go back to normal?” Scibetta said. “You know what, there’s hope. And for this population, it’s so important.”

The human touch is back at the Terrace.

Related Story:

Super Senior: Liz McCredie

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