One of the worst and yet least commented upon ways that the coronavirus has impacted American life is that thousands or perhaps millions of Americans languishing in hospitals without being able to have family and friends present to support them during their illnesses.
Even people who are facing end-of-life illnesses like terminal cancer have been forced to face their death alone, and families have been unable to properly say goodbye as they normally would.
According to “Good Morning America,” one Chicago-area man decided to take matters into his own hands to support his pregnant wife, who’s been spending the last six weeks in a hospital on bed rest due to complications for her pregnancy.
The man, Robert Conlin, has been bringing “date night” to the hospital to support his wife Shona Moeller once a week. According to “Good Morning America,” he sets up a complete table decorated with candles and flowers on the sidewalk outside Moeller’s fourth-floor window where she can see it. Conlin orders takeout food for the both of them and has Moeller’s portion sent up to her room.
Then, the two open up FaceTime and have a conversation while they have their dinner “together.”
Conlin told “Good Morning America,” “I think it’s a little glimpse of some normalcy. We ask each other on dates all the time still and the first time I came [to the hospital] as a date night, I asked her the same thing, ‘Do you want to go on a dinner date with me?'”
Moeller told Good Morning America that she “lost her breath” the first time she saw what Conlin had done.
“It felt like he had traveled the world to come see me because it meant so much,” she said.
Moeller is in the hospital because her water broke prematurely at 20 weeks. She is on bed rest in order to give her unborn child as much time as possible to gestate and thus increase its chances at survival. Doctors were initially very pessimistic that Moeller would ever deliver a healthy child, but now that she has reached the 28-week mark, they are considerably more optimistic. The couple plans to name their baby boy Forest.
According to “GMA,” Conlin will be allowed to attend the actual delivery of the child, but he is not allowed inside the hospital until doctors have determined that Moeller is in labor.