Married for 51 years, photos capture loneliness of the pandemic for couple living just a few feet apart


Ana Maria Becerra becomes emotional due to the pain of the surgery and feels distant from her husband due to social distancing on Saturday afternoon.

Ana Maria, 74, and Jose Becerra, 80, are a high-risk couple living in El Paso. The two have illnesses that weaken their immune system and make them fearful of contracting COVID-19. After a recent surgery Ana Maria Becerra, who is my grandmother, socially distanced herself in her home to protect my grandfather from anything she may have contracted during her time at the hospital.

This photo essay captures moments of their lives on a recent Saturday, nearly at the end of the two week at-home social distancing period. Married for 51 years, they struggled to stay six feet apart, manage day-to-day tasks and outwait the loneliness.

An elderly woman walking down the hallway back into her bedroom.

After a hospital stay over surgery to remove her cancerous uterus, Ana Maria Becerra made efforts to isolate herself at home. She only moved from the bathroom to her bedroom in order to social distance from her family.

An elderly woman wipes her nose with a tissue after becoming emotional while laying in bed.

Ana Maria Becerra becomes emotional due to the pain of the surgery and not being able to be with her husband.

An elderly man looks at himself in the mirror nervously holding his hands.

Jose Becerra, nervously looks at himself in the mirror as he prepares to leave his home amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

An elderly man looks behind him as he prepares to back out of the driveway of his home.

After not driving for several years, Jose Becerra, who has Parkinson’s disease, cautiously backs out his driveway wearing a mask to protect himself from COVID-19 as he goes out to buy lunch.

An elderly woman talks on the phone while eating Chinese food.

Ana Maria Becerra stops eating the lunch her husband brought home for her in order to answer a phone call from Del Sol Hospital. She speaks with a health care worker about social distancing guidelines to protect her high-risk husband within their home.

An elderly man sits drinking a coke out of a cup in his bedroom.

Jose Becerra eats his lunch by the doorway of his bedroom to spend time with his wife while social distancing.

An elderly woman hand sanitizes her hands after eating lunch.

After eating her meal, Ana Maria Becerra uses hand sanitizer.

An elderly woman lays in bed smiling at the camera as she rests after surgery.

Ana Maria Becerra looks at me from her bed.

An elderly man sits at his desk looking over bills.

Jose Becerra spends some time catching up on paying medical bills.

An elderly woman looks down past her dog while she lays in bed.

As loneliness creeps in again, Ana Maria Becerra’s dog lies by her side in bed.

Related : Listen to Ana Maria and Jose Becerra’s love story that spanned across time and borders





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