On March 18, four cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Williamson County. An additional four were reported March 19.
“My clients here in Sun City, we're all seniors here,” Byhower said. “Honestly, they don't want to interact with me probably, and I don't want to really have to interact with the people.”
Sun City is an active senior living community for adults ages 55 and older located on Williams Drive in the northwest corner of Georgetown and is home to more than 15,000 residents. Coronavirus experts have deemed those over the age of 65 as a vulnerable population and at higher risk. On March 13, Sun City announced it would cancel all outdoor and indoor amenities until at least April 19.
While Byhower said he is keeping himself busy doing what he enjoys most—tending to his vegetable garden, going on nature walks and looking at birds—he said Sun City has noticeably quieted.
“Everything is closed here,” Byhower said. “Any kind of activity where people interact with or congregate is shut down. So we're kind of in a lockdown.”
Resident Debbie Bruner also noted the quietness of the community, now filling her time that previously went toward eating out with friends and organizing events with the Sun City Recycles Committee with cooking new recipes.
Bruner, whose husband Terry underwent a triple bypass surgery in the fall and is now diabetic, said she is extra careful when going out and mindful of what she is exposing herself to.
“We're just taking it one day at a time and trying to keep [coronavirus] out of Sun City,” Bruner said.
Sandy Block, also a resident, has taken extreme measures to stay healthy. Block, who has an autoimmune disease, said she took her husband to the hospital for what they believed were stroke-like symptoms on March 16, but she only dropped him off and did not enter the hospital.
Block said her husband Andy remained in the hospital until March 18 when he was allowed to return home and she did not visit him throughout his hospital stay. Block said it was hard for her to not be by her husband’s side, but knew he was being well cared for.
“Had it been more critical, I would have been there with him, but I felt it was best to have him go through the diagnostics first,” she said. “I think we made decisions that were best for all of us.”
Block noted that in the recent weeks she has been more stressed and has had increased anxiety, but is working to maintain a positive attitude, adding that she has learned in her lifetime that the best of humanity comes out in situations like this.
Block said she has also turned to using technology more by using video messaging capabilities on apps like Zoom or FaceTime to keep in contact with friends and family.
“We live in a really social atmosphere [in Sun City]. That's what we came for,” Block said. “[Now], we're not able to socialize in the same ways that we did.”
Nonetheless, she asked others to be more responsible with their actions.
“I think my anxiety stems from people not taking [coronavirus] seriously,” Block said, adding people should “take [the virus] seriously and protect all of us.”