Quarantined Grandparents Embrace Their Great-Grandchildren Through Window Pane
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One of the tragedies of self-distancing is that it tears families apart for fear of catching or spreading the deadly coronavirus, Covid-19.
Ray and Theresa Cossey, from Norfolk, are two grandparents who, because of their age and an underlying health condition, are unable to be with their loved ones physically.
But despite having to shut themselves in from the world, they have still managed to spend time with their great-grandchildren - Florence, three, and Edith, one - through their patio window.
A photograph of the heartwarming embrace was posted on Twitter, showing the four of them pressing their hands tightly to the glass - enough to melt even the coldest heart, especially during this difficult time.
Theresa, 81, who was awarded an MBE for her work as president of a breast cancer charity, is currently recuperating after undergoing a second operation for her stage-two breast cancer, so is amongst the most vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.
Speaking to The Daily Mail about the outbreak, Ray said he thinks people should be taking it more seriously.
He said: "Some people are being laissez-faire about it, but we are not.
"With my wife's health, we cannot be. Besides, we see it as our duty to not put an extra strain on the NHS if it is avoidable.
"We don't have to go out to work so let's accept this thing."
So when the outbreak began and it became apparent that it wasn't going away soon, Ray and Theresa resigned themselves to the fact that they would not see their family for a while.
Theresa said: "The thought of not seeing them was terrible. And no cuddles. I give all the grandchildren big hugs, even the ones in their 30s."
However, granddaughter Vickie couldn't bear the thought of not being able to see them and decided to give them a little surprise this week.
Determined to keep their regular Tuesday visit, she brought her little ones around to say hi and have a play in the garden.
The 30-year-old said: "I decided that we were going to go anyway. Not in defiance of their self-isolation, but in a way that would get round it.
"I got the girls' waterproofs in the car, with their ride-on toys and some big chunky chalks, and we set off for Nanna and Granddad's.
"Then I rapped on the window and when they came to it, I kind of shoved daffodils from our garden through it - I threw them in really - and said, 'Not coming in, not coming in, but the girls are going to play in the garden, if that's OK.' I told them to get the phone, I'd Facetime them and chat that way.
"For an hour my girls played. They did a bit of digging in a couple of plant pots. They got on their little ride-ons. We got the chalks out and they did drawings on the patio.
"Nanna and Granddad were still in their dressing gowns - I'd interrupted their breakfast - but they drew their chairs up and just watched.
"We couldn't give them a big hug, but the girls could put their hands to the glass. I drove away with a tear in my eye, but it was a comfort to all of us."
The visit brought home to Vickie just how important it is to stay close to your loved ones during this difficult time.
She added: "It's hard not to well up, but this is the sort of story we are all going to need in the days ahead. Obviously it wasn't a normal Tuesday.
"It was a bit sad. I felt a little like we were looking at them through a goldfish bowl," admits Vickie. But it offered a very simple solution to a widespread dilemma.
She added: "There's no way we would put Nanna and Granddad at risk, but I know just getting to see the girls lifted their spirits. Ours too. We're going to do it again if we can. I would urge anyone to."