For Jon Amos, adjusting to the changes brought by the coronavirus hasn’t been easy. The 30-year-old with Down syndrome thrives off social interaction and misses the happiness it brings to his life.
For the past month, he has had to stay in isolation in his home in Ouyen, Victoria since the spread of the coronavirus. His weakened immune system makes him especially susceptible to pneumonia, making his isolation imperative. According to his sister, Dee, he has had difficulty understanding why he has to stay at home. “No matter what we say he doesn’t understand why he’s in here, he gets into different moods and gets upset,” she says.
Looking for a way to bring him joy in this difficult time, Jon’s family organized an effort to get a flurry of letters to him. (Jon loves receiving mail). They set up a Facebook page, asking people to send letters to Jon, and the care-filled missives started pouring in.
Jon has received countless letters and packages, and has been getting more and more every day from places all over the globe. Last week, his family captured a heartwarming video of his joy-filled response to the bucket of mail that came for him.
— Steph Anderson (@_StephAnderson) April 1, 2020
Dee Amos is grateful for the heartwarming public response:
We’re realistic, we’re not the only ones in this situation, there are so many people with intellectual disabilities or have people in their lives who are disadvantaged and isolated. Anything we can do to brighten their day, we will do it.
The Amos family is also helping Jon fight boredom with art projects, cooking, bocce, camping – and pretending to kayak in the backyard.
Dee Amos has encouraged people to do whatever they can to spread joy to others isolated during quarantine:
You really get as much out of it doing it for them,’ she said. ‘You get a bit of a purpose out of it, and it feels good.