BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Iola Carr went to open the curtains in her living room one day in late December, and the next thing she remembers is being in the hospital.
Carr is one of the millions of people in the country who contracted COVID-19 in the last year. A couple of months later, the Bloomfield resident is vaccinated and getting back on her feet. She doesn’t remember most of the week and a half she spent in the hospital, but she does remember the few weeks she spent recovering at the Job Haines Home.
“Thank goodness for the telephone,” Carr said in an interview with The Independent Press on Monday, March 29, thinking back on the facility’s no-visitors rule due to social distancing protocols. “I got so many phone calls. That was nice, being able to talk to people.”
Carr also had two video calls, a phenomenon that has become all too common for many people in the last year, but was new to her. Once Carr was able to go home to her house on Dalebrook Road, she had a nurse with her for a month to help her get around.
“She almost became a part of the family for me,” Carr said. “She never left for a minute. No matter where I went, she was right there.”
Carr’s son Ray also got COVID-19, most likely from being around her. He had a milder case; it felt similar to a bad cold, he said in an interview with The Independent Press on Monday, March 29. Ray Carr is vaccinated now as well, and both he and his mother are close to feeling 100 percent.
“She doesn’t remember that week in the hospital, but she was really suffering,” Ray Carr said. “Now, I think she’s almost back to where she was before. I think for someone to be back to where they were before that, it’s really amazing.”
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer and the snow that fell this winter has finally melted, Iola Carr is looking forward to being outside again. A longtime member of the Montclair Women’s Club art committee and the knitting and crochet club at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, she’s looking forward to meetings again. Iola Carr’s own art is hanging in her living room; she has a studio set up in her basement.
She has lived in Bloomfield for seven decades, since Dalebrook Road was a horseradish farm and before Bloomfield Middle School was built down the street. She lived in the house next door before moving with her family to the house she lives in now.
“I always thought Bloomfield was a beautiful town to live in,” Iola Carr said. “They look out for people a lot.”
At 96, Iola Carr credits her genetics with keeping her healthy.
“If my mother lived two weeks longer, she would have been 100,” she said. “So I think there’s something in that line.”