The first thing I do when I wake up is look down the hallway for the big plastic sheet. That’s what they use to block off the covid area. They sectioned off a whole wing a few days before Thanksgiving. Then they blocked another hallway earlier this week. That plastic sheet keeps moving closer. I’m trying not to panic, but where am I supposed to go? It’s not like I can jump up and make a run for it. I’m in a wheelchair. I haven’t been outside for months. I’m trapped, just like everybody else in this place. We’re at the mercy of this virus. We sit in here and we wait.

That’s been the story of the last nine months. It’s boredom and then dread. They stopped allowing visitors in March, so we lost that contact with the outside world. Then it was no more group meals in the cafeteria — just eat everything alone in your room. No more trips to physical therapy. No more access to the lounge or computer area. My world keeps getting smaller. I have my little room. I have my old nine-inch TV. I play Sudoku and watch Turner Classic Movies and stare out the window at the woods. I check the latest covid numbers every few hours on my phone. All of Ohio is out of control. We managed to keep the virus out of here for a while, but with the numbers this high, it was just a matter of time. I keep reading about how more than 100,000 people have died in places just like this, and I don’t want to be one of them. I make it from one sunrise to the next. I keep breathing. That’s it. That’s the whole goal.