On Monday, Scott County residents will have an opportunity to brighten the day of dozens of residents at Huntsville Health & Rehabilitation, formerly Huntsville Manor.
The assisted living facility is planning a drive-by parade that will organize at Huntsville School and circle through the parking lot at the facility.
While many of us have been lamenting the inconveniences of social-distancing, which have cost us sporting events, trips out to eat at our favorite restaurants and Sunday school, the coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard on residents of nursing homes. Across Tennessee and throughout the United States, assisted living facilities have been on complete lockdown — with no visitors allowed.
Residents of Huntsville Health & Rehab and similar facilities have not been able to have face-to-face visits with their children, grandchildren, other family members or friends since the Covid-19 outbreak began in the U.S., nearly two months ago — sacrifices that go above and beyond what most Americans have had to make.
Those sacrifices are unavoidable, of course; nursing homes are ground-zero for the coronavirus. Nearly 1 in 4 of the deaths that have occurred in Tennessee — and a similar number nationwide — have been in assisted living facilities. Because the residents of these facilities are vulnerable to both the unchecked spread of the virus and the severe illness that sometimes results, governments and the management of nursing homes across the nation have worked extra hard to isolate residents from the outside world.
But Monday’s parade will offer an opportunity for Scott Countians to show love and support for these residents.
Huntsville Health & Rehab bills it as a “drive-by party parade.” Participants are encouraged to bring signs, balloons and “loud voices,” to greet residents in a “safe and fun way.”
Motorists who want to take part in the parade will meet at Huntsville Elementary at 2 p.m., and follow a police escort to the nursing home across the street at 2:30 p.m. There, they’re encouraged to honk, wave and yell.
For the safety of the residents, motorists are asked to follow the police escort, and must stay in their car at all times.