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Great-grandmother can't hold newborn granddaughter because of coronavirus

Posted: 6:27 PM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-23 22:10:54-04

A 98-year-old great grandmother just wanted to meet her 4-week-old great-granddaughter for the first time, but due to the coronavirus and their ages, that wasn't necessarily safe. So the family came up with a workaround.

"But when I looked at her face I could almost see this sadness that she couldn't hold her, but I'm not an emotional person, but it was hard to keep it together when I saw her putting her hand on the window and blowing kisses," Maggie Oberschlake, a mother of two boys and a 4-week-old daughter, said.

Instead of 98-year-old great-grandmother, Janina, holding her newest great-granddaughter, she had to wave and say hello through the few millimeters of glass on the passenger side of the Oberschlake's car.

The few milometers might as well have been miles.

"She was really just like sad and upset about what was going on," Maggie Oberschlake said.

The family decided for the two to meet this way, given the current situation with the coronavirus and the fact that older adults are more susceptible to the virus.

The video shows a moment of bittersweet joy. It shows the happiness that only two relatives born nearly 100 years apart can create, but it also shows the pain of a rapidly spreading virus, forcing unwanted change.

However tough the decision might have been, the Oberschlake's know it was the right move.

"I think these are the sacrifices people need to start making now," Maggie's husband, Ross, siad.

Plus, this was something that neither of them ever anticipated. Four weeks ago, Maggie, a hospital pharmacist, and Ross, a dentist, knew about the coronavirus but never thought it would come to this. Now, they are taking the necessary precautions to keep their family safe and hope to be a role model for others.

The number of coronavirus cases in Wisconsin is expected to rise, which is why proper hygiene practices must be followed even if that means meeting a family member for the first time through a few millimeters of glass.

Photos in the story provided by Vanessa Wyler Photography.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Confirmed cases: 1,288 (as of Monday evening)

Deaths: 23

Negative tests: 15,856

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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