NPR’s Eric Deggans and his mother Carolyn Williams a few years ago. Williams, a much loved Gary, Ind., teacher for nearly 50 years, landed in the hospital after a fall in her apartment in mid-March. Because of hospital rules during the pandemic, Williams spent many of her final days without family by her side.

NPR’s Eric Deggans and his mother Carolyn Williams a few years ago. Williams, a much loved Gary, Ind., teacher for nearly 50 years, landed in the hospital after a fall in her apartment in mid-March. Because of hospital rules during the pandemic, Williams spent many of her final days without family by her side.