Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll be aware that the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc across the world - and things only seem to be getting worse.
Elderly people are especially at risk - many looking staying in isolation for up to twelve weeks.
Well, one man, who was split up from his wife amid the outbreak, has been forced to celebrate their sixty-seventh anniversary in a different way...
Keep scrolling to watch the heartbreaking video.
We are in the midst of a medical crisis.
via: GettyThe deadly coronavirus, or COVID-19, as medical experts are referring to it, has taken our planet hostage, and is showing no signs of letting go anytime soon.
What exactly is COVID-19, and just how dangerous is it?
via: GettyAccording to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is a new strain of coronaviruses that had not been previously been identified in humans.
The virus primarily affects the respiratory system.
via: GettyAnd common symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
But, in more severe cases...
via: GettyAnd in patients who are elderly and have existing health issues, the virus can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Close to 100,000 people all over the world have now been infected with the virus...
via: Getty183,852, to be precise. And, devastatingly, a staggering 7,182 more have been reported to have died from the illness.
It's a dire situation.
via: GettyAnd many have been asking the same thing - Where did this virus actually come from?
Well, the virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.
via: GettyOn December 31st, 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization of several flu-like cases in Wuhan.
And where did it come from?
via: GettyMany different theories have been proposed, but it is now widely believed to have originated from the sale of meat from wild animals, especially bats, where the virus has been discovered in the past.
And, despite infected people being quarantined...
via: GettyThe virus was alarmingly quick to spread, with cases being reported as far away as Thailand just one week later.
It only took a month for the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency...
via: GettyWhich was done in an attempt to combat the virus and enable countries to put in strict measures to prevent any further spread.
But these attempts were to little avail.
via: GettyBecause, fast forward 3 months, and nearly every major country in the world has been infected by the virus, with some of the worst affected being Japan, South Korea, Russia, Italy, Iran, and Spain.
World leaders have been left with little choice but to bring their countries to a total stand-still...
via: GettyAnd many have banned large and crowded events, and any travel to and from infected countries.
Italy has even gone into total lockdown...
via: GettyLeaving their streets completely deserted.
And it didn't take long for the virus to reach us here in the States.
via: GettyOur first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington in late January after a citizen returned from a trip to China.
And, since then, the numbers have been rising at a frightening pace.
via: GettySince the first COVID-19 patient in Washington, there have been over 4,000 more confirmed cases across the country and seventy-one deaths.
Several cities have declared states of emergencies...
via: GettyAnd, on Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, freeing up $50 billion in federal funding and promising a screening website and drive-by tests.
His move came after the World Health Organization confirmed COVID-19 as a pandemic last week.
via: GettyFYI... A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
He also announced a temporary travel ban...
via: GettyWhich prohibits any travel between the United States and any European country, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Yep, things are getting pretty serious.And many people have been descending into mass hysteria over the risks the virus brings with it.
But there's another heartbreaking reality of this medical epidemic...
via: ShutterstockMany people in nursing homes are unable to have visitors, meaning they cannot see their loved ones.
And sadly, this was the case for Bob Shellard and his wife Nancy.
via: Family archiveBob isn't able to see Nancy as the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. banned all nursing home visitors in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
And when the couple's 67th anniversary rolled around...
via: Family archiveIt didn't stop Bob going above and beyond to celebrate the special day with his wife - despite the pair being unable to spend the day together.
Bob turned up to the nursing home in Connecticut, US, with a homemade sign.
via: NBC New York"I've loved your 67 years and still do. Happy anniversary," the sign read. Keep scrolling to watch the tear-jerking video for yourself.
He then held it up to his wife's window, along with some balloons.
via: NBC New YorkIn the clip, Nancy can then be seen waving and blowing kisses from her second-floor window.
This is the first anniversary Bob and Nancy have spent apart...
via: NBC New YorkSpeaking to NBC New York, Bob - who visited his wife every day before the ban came into action - said: "I wish I could be with her. It makes me feel bad because I want her down with me and I know she can't." "I wouldn't want anybody else. I don't think she could put up with anybody else besides me."
The couple have 4 kids together, who call them an "inspiration."
via: NBC New YorkTheir daughter Laura Mikolajczak explained to NBC: "It's just been an example for us, for all of us of kids." "So all four of us have really learned a lot from them and I can only hope that I have half as much as what they have shared over the years." "They have always been an inspiration to us and I think just seeing every year go by that they still express it in some way on their anniversary. There's just a sweetness to the two of them and what they share."