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Minnesota woman, child become friends during pandemic despite age gap

Benjamin didn’t have any playmates his age to interact with. Mary lived alone and spent her days watching TV game shows and playing an electronic version of Yahtzee.

But as the isolation of the pandemic was at its height, Mary wasn’t as lonely when she looked out of her kitchen and saw Benjamin and his mom playing in their backyard. Those moments marked the beginning of a special friendship.

Benjamin and Mary’s worlds were separated by a chain-link fence and nearly 100 years of life experience when the coronavirus pandemic began. Benjamin was 9 months old as quarantine sent people indoors in the spring of last year and Mary O’Neill was 98.

In the months that followed, Benjamin spent more time outside as he learned to take his first steps, and the two formed an unlikely friendship. They became playmates, not just neighbors.

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