Breaking News
More () »

‘I love you… bring beer’: messages to loved ones from one Maine nursing home during coronavirus social distancing

Residents used white boards to send messages to their loved ones who couldn't visit because of coronavirus, COVID-19. The pictures were a huge hit on social media.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — When Kelly Ouellette saw scrolling through Pinterest recently, she came across an idea she knew her residents at Katahdin Health Care would love.

“I borrowed a whiteboard from one of the residents and started asking them what they wanted to tell their families,” during the coronavirus, COVID-19 lockdown, Ouellette said.

She says their faces instantly lit up. 

Soon she was writing messages like ‘I love you and I miss you’ or something with a little more zest like, ‘I love you and I miss you…bring beer’.

They took photos of each of the residents and posted them on their social media page. Unfortunately, it’s become one of the few ways residents can maintain contact with loved ones right now because of COVID19 or, the Coronavirus. 

COVID19 has forced nursing homes across the state to shut their doors to any visitors, ensuring Maine’s most vulnerable population remains free of the illness. Officials said Friday the first person in Maine to die of the virus was in his 80’s and lived in Cumberland County.

Ouellette says the temporary quarantine has taken its toll on the residents and their families.

“They can't see their family and there's so much they want to say to their family,” Ouellette said. “It's hard, it's hard for our residents, it's hard for the loved ones who can't come and see them every day.”

Social Distancing Video

That’s why Ouellette and colleague Jennifer Brown say these sweet notes from residents to their loved ones couldn’t have come at a better time.  

“It makes my heart feel good to know we're doing something that makes them happy.” Ouellette said.

“If we can make a difference everyday in our residents life than that’s what we are going to do.” Brown said.

Residents in return were surprised with messages from loved ones Friday night, watch the full video to hear what they said.

NEWS CENTER Maine Coronavirus Coverage

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates: Trump signs $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, issues Defense Production Act for GM ventilators

RELATED: New Hampshire records second coronavirus related death

RELATED: Maine 'Rises Up' during coronavirus outbreak

RELATED: Trump: Throw Rep. Thomas Massie out of Republican Party

RELATED: 'Black Bear Exchange' food pantry helps UMaine students, faculty and staff during COVID-19

RELATED: Maine abuse survivors at greater risk during coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak

RELATED: How ‘stay-at-home’ orders and gathering bans due to coronavirus are being enforced in Maine

RELATED: Pen Bay Hospital handles first case of coronavirus, COVID-19

RELATED: Mainer living in Italy urges others to take COVID-19 seriously

RELATED: Trump signs $2.2T stimulus after swift congressional votes

RELATED: Maine funeral home offering virtual services amid coronavirus outbreak

RELATED: Stimulus check calculator: See how much you'll likely be getting

RELATED: One person in Maine has died from coronavirus, COVID-19, Maine CDC says

RELATED: New Hampshire governor issues stay-at-home order, extends school closures through May 4

RELATED: 'She's everyone's world right now. She's our love.' Brunswick family celebrates 100th birthday amid COVID-19

RELATED: Gov. Mills launches online resource for Mainers to help Mainers amid coronavirus pandemic

RELATED: UPDATE: South Portland issues 'stay home' order due to coronavirus, COVID-19

RELATED: Hoda breaks down on 'Today' after interview with Drew Brees

RELATED: A look back at this week's coronavirus news in Maine

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist

Before You Leave, Check This Out