It's been a lonely year for Evelyn Shaw, who hasn't been able to hug — or even see — her family members because of the pandemic. The grandmother from Bronx, New York, has finally been vaccinated, but was still wary about seeing her grandkids.
"We were together all the time," her daughter, Laura Shaw Frank, told Inside Edition. "She would come for dinner. She would sit on the couch with one grandchild on each side and the other two hovering over her and loving her and just spending so much time with her."
That all ended when social distancing measures were put in place. Seniors like Evelyn Shaw were advised to be especially careful since they are at higher risk of serious infection from coronavirus.
Her oldest grandchild, Ataret Shaw, worried about her. "It was very hard knowing that she was all alone in her apartment, day in and day out, never seeing anyone, never hugging anyone, never touching anyone," Ataret said.
Ataret has now been fully vaccinated, and so has her grandmother, meaning they should be able to see each other. But Evelyn was still wary about the virus.
So, Ataret went to her doctor. "I said, 'She's never going to hug me. She's too nervous. She's never going to hug me.' And she says, 'Well, I am going to write her a prescription that says that she can hug you.' And I said, 'Literally, that might be the only thing that makes her do it,'" Ataret said.
The doctor actually wrote that prescription, knowing a hug was the medicine Evelyn needed. It says, "You are allowed to hug your granddaughter."
With prescription in hand, Laura and Ataret headed to grandma's house in the Bronx. Laura has only received one dose of her vaccine, but with Ataret and Evelyn fully vaccinated – plus the bonus prescription – they knew they were safe to hug. As they embraced, Evelyn was in tears.
"It was, as Ataret said, a permission slip, yes, that I can finally, finally do this without fear," Evelyn said after hugging her granddaughter for the first time in about a year.
Now, Evelyn can't wait to hug her six other grandkids. "When I wrote on my calendar, 'Free at last. Free at last,' I didn't feel free," she said.
"But I've got this now," she said, holding up the prescription for a hug. "You are allowed to hug your granddaughter. What a statement. What a statement."