MONTREAL -- Two women have started washing the windows of the ground floor of a CHSLD struck by COVID-19 to get a better glimpse of their 87-year-old friend, “Titina,” whom they come to visit every day from outside.

Sharon Ehrlich and Annette Demeny are hoping to enter the CHSLD Vigi Mont-Royal, in the heart of the Island of Montreal, as volunteers.

According to the most recent figures published, there are 186 residents infected with COVID-19 at the CHSLD. This is the highest contamination count in the province.

Ehrlich and Demeny have washed the windows to better communicate with Titina, but also so other families can do the same with their loved ones.

Like many other people who have relatives inside a seniors' residence, they used their imagination to stay in touch and relieve their fear.

Ehrlich and Demeny have stuck flowers that spell “I love you “ in Titina's window and developed a sign language to tell their 87-year-old friend that she has not been forgotten.

“She is terrified,” they said.

“Her COVID-19 test came back positive, and her health is deteriorating," said Demeny.

While Titina is frail and lying in bed, she tries to answer the two women with her fragile hands and sends kisses.

The elderly lady is Concetta Laberto, the mother of their friend Pina who was brutally murdered 10 years ago. Her other daughter, Mary, also comes to visit her on the other side of the window for as long as she can, but she lives far away, they said.

The Quebec government has suspended visits to all seniors' residences to avoid further contamination, but Ehrlich and Demeny are still hoping to enter the CHSLD. 

Thanks to the office of Liberal MNA Pierre Arcand, who represents the riding of Mont-Royal - Outremont, and its office manager, Charlotte Thierry, the two women managed to get tested for COVID-19, bringing them a step closer to entering the CHSLD.

This article by La Presse Canadienne was first published on May 3, 2020.