WEST JEFFERSON — As the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic continues to plague the world, it has forced lock-down restrictions on many, and kept everyone at arm's length. This has been especially difficult for people in assisted living communities, where the facilities have been forced to severely limit the number of visitors and keep their residents safe.

As a way to combat that isolation felt by many in local assisted living communities, Medi Home Health & Hospice set up a parade on Saturday, May 16, to drive by and say, "Hello."

Those who joined were encouraged to bring a sign, wave from the car and cheer up the days of the people who would be watching. Beginning at Midway Baptist Church, the parade headed to Forest Ridge Assisted Living, before heading to Ashe Assisted Living.

The parade, with an escort from the Ashe County Sheriff's Office, saw signs with love and praise for the residents and employees of the assisted living communities, waves from people who miss their loved ones and many smiles.

At Forest Ridge, residents lined the sides of the driveway, mostly staying under the overhangs to avoid the hot sun. Forest Ridge Director of Community Relations Heather Samudio said it was a great event for the residents, and it was nice for people to be thinking of them during these times.

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