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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Joan Bruns, 87, South Burlington

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Joan Bruns, 87, South Burlington


Jean Baker and her mother, Joan Bruns, lived just 10 miles from one another, but they endured the pandemic apart. Baker's weekly visits to see Bruns at Elderwood at Burlington, the nursing home in the city's New North End, ended abruptly in March when such homes began indefinite lockdowns.

During phone calls, Baker could hear the isolation wearing on her 87-year-old parent. Physically ailing but mentally "very sharp," Bruns became increasingly lonely. Some days she refused to get out of bed, Baker said.

Mother and daughter finally saw each other in August, when Bruns was briefly hospitalized. At the time, more frequent visits seemed on the horizon, as new COVID-19 cases remained low in Vermont. It was, instead, their last.

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Derek Brouwer


Dec. 1, 2020


Nancy Remsen

Spatial Coverage



Derek Brouwer, “Joan Bruns, 87, South Burlington,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed June 19, 2024,