In November of 1868, the year of the Home’s founding, Republican Ulysses S. Grant of Illinois defeated Horatio Seymour of New York to win the 21st presidential election. Grant decisively won the electoral vote, but his margin was much narrower in the popular vote. Schuyler Colfax (a Republican) and Francis Preston Blair Jr. (a Democrat), now lost to history, were the Vice-Presidential candidates. A worldwide cholera epidemic was about to reach North America, African Americans voted for the first time and the first federal amendment for women’s suffrage was introduced to counteract the 14th Amendment, which designated that only “males” could vote. It would take another 52 years for the transition to be fully realized when women could make their voices heard politically on August 26, 1920.
Here at the Home in 2021, we have been engaging in a few transitions and pandemic related activities of our own. We continue to wear masks, social distance and keep our outings and visitors to a minimum. We, like all of America, are anxiously awaiting the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to our Guests and Staff.
Several of our Guests have moved much of their lives online, attending religious services from the comfort of their rooms, learning the exciting ins and outs of grocery delivery, attending online classes and enjoying Netflix and Disney+. One Guest, who is decidedly not engaged in the online world, goes out for twice daily walks about the city. She reports that there is nothing like a long, brisk and vigorous walk on a sunny winter’s day to keep the pandemic blues at bay. Even though she does love a good movie and television, she will “never go online!”
We all look forward to transitioning back to having visitors as soon as safely possible.