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Alpena Medilodge throws parade for patients

ALPENA, Mich.– Medilodge of Alpena hosted a small parade Saturday to help relieve the loneliness of its patients.

Escorted by fire engines and police cars, the loved ones of Medilodge patients turned the parking lot into parade grounds.

Some Medilodge patients have been seeing family members through the window while speaking with them over the phone. Saturday’s event offered a more fun spin on familial relations in the pandemic. Many turned their cars into makeshift parade floats.

This parade doesn’t mean that feelings of loneliness have gone away, however. When asked about how she felt about not seeing her brother, participant Maryann Rouleau had this to say.

“Very hard. Very heartbreaking. Depressing. Angry. The anger’s there now because it’s been too long.”

Richard Karsen, a patient at Medilodge, said he has similar feelings.

“I miss them. I wish I could be with them and get to talk to them and hug them, but, uh… how does it feel? It feels… lonesome.”

So long as COVID–19 remains a threat to elderly populations, events like these may be the best we can do to help ease that loneliness.