Couple separated by COVID-19 nursing home restrictions hope to reunite soon

Couple separated by COVID-19 restrictions hope for reunion soon.jpg
Posted at 10:28 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 23:55:24-04

CINCINNATI — One local couple is holding out hope they’ll soon be able to reunite after COVID-19 kept them apart for more than six months.

One of them is in a nursing home and even though Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced nursing home facilities have the option of allowing visitors back inside in less than two weeks, rules vary from place to place.

Before COVID-19, Vince and Judy Lasita had never been separated for more than a few weeks. They’re grateful they can see each other from a distance, but they’re looking forward to the day they can truly reunite.

“It’s quite a different life,” Vince Lasita said.

And it's a life that the Lasitas never imagined.

“I used to go up six days a week and either I’d have lunch with her or I’d have dinner with her – one of the two,” he said.

Pandemic guidelines means Vince and Judy now connect primarily over FaceTime.

“It’s been tough and it’s hard to not be with her, not being able to touch her,” he said. “That’s the thing we’re looking forward to.”

Since March, the pair have celebrated their milestones separately – their 66th wedding anniversary, Judy’s 88th birthday, Vince’s 90th.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “It’s not easy at all but it’s just God will keeping me going, my family.”

The husband and wife are able to see each other from a distance thanks to curbside visits at Little Sisters of the Poor. Those visits are socially distant, of course.

“Even when we go back up there we don’t know if we’re going to be able to kiss her goodbye or hold her hand or anything like that,” the Lasitas' daughter Mary Ellen Conroy said.

The family knows that Judy is in good hands – and Vince is hopeful to be able to hold Judy’s again soon.

“The thought does cross my mind from time to time, I hope we get to see each other,” he said. “It’s really tough. It really is. It’s just not easy.”

Nursing homes are allowed to resume inside visitation Oct. 12 with safety measures in place.