Couple reunited at local nursing home after months apart during coronavirus pandemic


The main thing Julius wanted to tell Margaret? "That I still love her."

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An older couple is back together again now that nursing homes in Ohio are allowed to have outdoor visits.

Gov. Mike DeWine banned visitors from nursing homes March 12 because of the coronavirus’ threat to the aging population.

He had been told how the loss of contact can hurt residents and was urged to lift the restrictions as soon as possible.

“This is something none of us has ever been through before. This is nothing any of us have ever experienced. There’s no protocol so the buzz is real. This has been tough on families, I think both mentally and physically,” said Chuck Ridge, with Park Vista in Youngstown.

The Zeiglers deserved a visit after seven months of not seeing each other and it finally happened Monday.

Julius Zeigler agreed his wife, Margaret, was a sight for sore eyes.

“Old eyes, too,” he said.

Julius lives at Park Vista in Youngstown.

“To me, he looks great,” Margaret said. “I’m just so glad to see him. It’s just been too long.”

The Zeiglers have been married 62 years. This was the longest they’ve ever been apart.

Margaret said it’s been difficult. She’s cried many times and called their daughter in Pittsburgh to help her make it through.

We asked Margaret how important this meeting was to her.

“Oh my goodness,” she said. “If I ever see Kelly, activities director, I’m going to kiss her.”

Kelly Rozzi helped arrange the Zeiglers’ special meeting and she got to spend a few minutes with them — but this was their time.

The main thing Julius wanted to tell Margaret?

“That I still love her.”

They took advantage of every second together. There was no hugging or kissing — they couldn’t even touch. But it was still good and they were already thinking about the next meeting.

“Can she come over again tomorrow?” Julius asked.

Margaret did ask Julius if he would marry her again. He said, “Of course.”

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