Parade at Mill Creek Village helps residents see family for first time since March

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COLUMBIA - Patti Butera used to eat lunch with her dad daily, but she hasn't even been able to give him a hug in over a month. Butera's dad is a resident at Mill Creek Village Senior Living, where they have not allowed visitors since early March due to COVID-19. 

"It's hard," Butera said. "A couple weeks ago when we had some nice weather I was able to sit outside with him, but it had to be six feet."

Friday, the Mill Creek staff hosted a parade for the residents. Families, the Columbia Fire Department and community members drove through the complex honking and waving to members. Butera's dad was too sick to come outside, but she still wanted to show support.

"It's important to show support," Butera said. "I've gotten to know them over the last couple years and I kind of feel like a lot of them are my moms and my family members."

Even though Missouri will begin slowly reopening on May 4th, Mary Kaye Swanson, lifestyle coordinator at Mill Creek, said they will still not allow visitors. 

"Our folks inside, their lives are still going to be the same for at least two to three weeks," Swanson said. 

But Butera is looking forward to the day she can take her dad out to lunch again.