Virus Outbreak - Mother's Day

Steve Turner and his sisters, from left, Carla Paull and Lisa Fishman, hold up a Mother’s Day banner emblazoned with images of their mom, Beverly Turner, in front of her assisted-living facility in Ladue, Missouri. The siblings were “practicing” how their Mother’s Day surprise will look on Sunday as their mother peers down from her window. Beverly, who is 96, will also celebrate her birthday on Mother’s Day.

NEW YORK (AP) — Treats made and delivered by neighbors. Fresh garden plantings dug from a safe 6 feet away. Trips around the world set up room-to-room at home.

Mother’s Day this year is a mix of love and extra imagination as families do without their usual brunches and huggy meetups.

As the pandemic persists in keeping families indoors or a safe social distance apart, online searches have increased for creative ways to still make moms feel special.

Absent help from schools and babysitters, uninitiated dads are on homemade craft duty with the kids. Other loved ones are navigating around no-visitor rules at hospitals and senior-living facilities.

Some medical facilities are pitching in by collecting voice and video recordings from locked-out relatives when patients are unable to manage the technology on their own.

In suburban St. Louis, Steve Turner and his family hope to FaceTime with his 96-year-old mother, Beverly, but they plan something more, too. Her birthday coincides with Mother’s Day this year.

“We’re going to create a big Mother’s Day-birthday banner signed by the kids and grandkids who live here,” Turner said. “She loves butterflies and we’ll draw some on. We’re working with the home to find a place where we can stand outside a window so she can see us.”

In Alameda, California, 23-year-old Zaria Zinn is sheltering at home with her parents and younger sister. Knowing how much their mother loves and misses traveling, they’re turning their house and neighborhood into a trip around the world with help from decorations and virtual tours online.

“We made a DIY passport for her and we’re creating stamps for each location,” she said.

Their itinerary: Machu Picchu, Paris and Iceland, with some DIY spa time and a Hollywood-style movie night.

Making the most of Mother’s Day in isolation is top of mind for Google search users. The company said the term “Mother’s Day gifts during quarantine” recently spiked by 600% in the U.S. Among Pinterest’s 335 million users, searches for “Mother’s Day at home” have jumped by 2,971%, the company said.

In Rochester, New York, Melissa Mueller-Douglas and her 7-year-old daughter, Nurah, had planned to get together with their respective friends at a hotel for a Mother’s Day sleepover. When it was canceled because of the pandemic, they got busy on Pinterest searching for ideas to bring the party home, just the two of them.

They have eye masks with rhinestones to decorate, thread for mother-daughter bracelets, instant film for a photo shoot and a chocolate fountain purchased at Walmart. Dad and Nurah’s 3-year-old brother will paint together downstairs after a mother-and-son bike ride earlier in the day.

“We’ve repurposed a shimmery tablecloth and made giant flowers out of tissue paper for a photo shoot backdrop. We’ll be creating a secret handshake and writing in top secret journals to each other,” Mueller-Douglas said. “We’re calling it The Best Day Ever Slumber Party.”

Kayla Hockman, 26, in Los Angeles, has been worried about her 77-year-old grandmother in Fontana, California, about 50 miles away. Usually, she and her sister treat grandma and their mom to brunch or an adventure out.

“My grandma’s been quite depressed lately since she hasn’t left her house in two months, and she’s slowly losing hope,” Hockman said. “She and my grandpa have a lot of problems with walking now. This whole thing of not being able to see anyone has been really taking a hard toll on them.”

To cheer her up, they’re planning a party on her lawn.

“It’s going to be a surprise pop-up Mother’s Day brunch with ‘momosas’ and painting,” Hockman said. “We’re going to set it up for all of us to paint a sunflower, her absolute favorite. She’ll paint on her porch and we’ll be on the lawn, all 6 feet apart.”

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