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'Just cruel at this point': Nursing homes push to reopen for visits, hugs after COVID-19 vaccine

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A Missouri man worried about his mother’s weight loss after she spent a year in a nursing home under COVID-19 lockdown without his daily peanut butter shakes. 

In Florida, a devoted husband celebrated his final wedding anniversary on opposite sides of his wife’s nursing home window. 

A woman in the Bronx, New York, blamed her mild heart attack on stressful months of separation from her mother.

 “I couldn’t hug her for Mother’s Day, for the whole year,” Lillian Marrero said. 

The residents of America’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, offer early evidence of the vaccines’ power to end the threat. Outbreaks in nursing homes have dropped by about 90% since the winter’s peak, and their residents and staff were placed at the front of the line for vaccination. 

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