Myrna and Mervin Lass celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary a little early this year, and at perhaps an unusual location for such a milestone — the Sunnybrook COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.
The couple, 87 and 91, received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 8, 2021, and decided to mark the day as their anniversary.
It was nearly a year to the day since the pandemic was declared.
“On March 11, 2020 we were enjoying our time in sunny Florida when we heard the news of the pandemic and that Canada might be locked down,” Mervin recalled. “We packed our things and booked plane tickets immediately and came straight home.”
Ever since, Mervin and Myrna have been hunkered down in their Toronto condo.
It’s been a long 12 months, of course. Family dropped off groceries and supplies. And the pair used the hallways of their building as their exercise track.
“Myrna lit candles every night for dinnertime to help break up the monotony,” Mervin says.
“It was just a little something I could do to add some excitement,” Myrna added.
Myrna says getting the notification that they were able to book vaccine appointments was the “best day of the year.”
“It was so amazing,” she says. “We are so happy to have science on our side.”
Myrna and Mervin don’t yet have plans for their actual wedding anniversary in May, as they will wait to hear what the public health advice on gatherings is at that time.
“Our celebration might be a toast of champagne on Zoom, and that’s OK,” Myrna says.
Facetime and Zoom have been a wonderful way to stay connected with their three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren throughout this past year, she says.
“And the telephone,” adds Mervin. “We are so lucky to have so many ways to stay connected.
“We have just a short while longer to keep up with all the public health rules; don’t give up now. Hang in there and we will get through this.”
And Mervin’s advice for couples who are feeling cooped up as stay-at-home orders continue:
“Let things fall where they may. Don’t be demanding on each other. Myrna and I have never been demanding on each other, and it works.”