They were caught sneaking around during lockdown — and fell in love
In what might be the greatest love story in lockdown, two people in their 90s found love at a retirement home amid the pandemic. They grew so fond of each other, they were even caught sneaking around “like teenagers” into each other’s rooms.
“It was like I was a college guy sneaking into the women’s dorm!” Bill Biega, 98, said with a laugh.
Biega and Iris Ivers, 91, began their romance at the start of the pandemic. Biega had just moved to Applewood Retirement Home in Freehold, New Jersey, where he reunited with Ivers. They had met years prior, however, over a game of bridge.
Before moving into Applewood, Biega had lost his wife, Lili, after 75 years of marriage. As for Ivers, she was widowed in 2001 when her husband, George, died.
“As we talked more and more and Iris with her gorgeous smile, and behaving really like a younger woman, we got much fonder and fonder of each other,” Biega told CBS New York.
“We became more friendly than we had been before, and we started spending a lot of time together,” Ivers added. “Before the virus hit, we’d eat dinner together and talk, and we found out we had a lot more in common than we thought.”
Then, the virus hit — and they were locked down.
“We were not allowed to leave our apartments,” Biega said.
But that didn’t stop the in-love couple from seeing each other.
“You were sneaking around, weren’t you?” the reporter asked them, to which Ivers admitted, “We were sneaking. He would come to my apartment. I would go to his apartment.”
According to The Washington Post, Biega would use the elevator to sneak from the second floor to Ivers’ apartment on the third floor — and visa versa.
It wasn’t long before they’d get caught, and they had a big decision to make: stay apart or quarantine together. Of course, they chose the latter, and Ivers moved into Biega’s.
“The security guard told me, ‘You can either live apart or live together, but you have to make your mind up right now,'” Biega recalled.
“I packed up my clothes and a toothbrush and moved into Bill’s apartment the very next day,” Ivers said, admitting that “it was a little bit of an adjustment.” But Ivers got used to Biega’s swimming routine. So much so, she’s even joined him.
“He does eight laps,” Ivers said.
“That’s what keeps me healthy,” Biega added.
More than one year later, the couple is still going strong.
“Their story is the rose that grew through the pavement during a difficult time,” Applewood’s Executive Director Keith Grady tells WaPo. “They act like teenagers: They have no inhibitions, and they’re always up for fun.”
Biega, who describes Ivers as “so friendly” and “young at heart,” said he couldn’t imagine not being able to see her.
“She’d made it so much easier for me after my wife passed away. She gave me new happiness,” he said, adding…
“Even in your 90s, it’s never too late to have a love life.”