Elderly Catholic couple in self-quarantine stay hopeful, keep faith strong

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MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Lovebirds Jo Ann Thweatt, 84, and Charlie Feraci, 89, have been on a self-imposed quarantine for over 17 days now, due to their age and the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the United States.

The Catholic couple lives in Memphis, and they wanted to honor President Donald Trump’s request that Americans stay inside.

The two are in the high-risk population, but both live a healthy lifestyle spending their days, exercising, eating right and praying. They keep up with daily Mass on TV and say their rosary together and pray for their four grandchildren, who are fighting the virus on the front lines in the medical field.

Two of their grandchildren have been confirmed as having been exposed to the virus and one of those is due with a baby this summer.

Thweatt and Feraci fell in love and married after both lost their spouses within the same period of time just a few years ago. They had known each other through a tai chi class they took together at the YMCA. They are both still physically active. Normally, when not quarantined, Jo Ann walks four miles a day.

The couple never seem to grow tired of each other, even after days on end cooped up in the house together. They joked about there not being much need to change out of their pajamas most days and that they like to stay comfortable.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland issued a shelter-at-home executive order March 24, 2020, “directing all residents of Memphis to stay inside their homes, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.”

This is the most restrictive measure governments have adopted across the U.S. to combat the coronavirus that has found its way to Memphis.

Pulfer Focht writes for Faith West Tennessee, the magazine of the Diocese of Memphis.

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