Recipient

Chris G.

Virginia, United States

Love on the Front Lines of a Pandemic

This is what love looks like on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My husband is a Firefighter/Medic working 24 hr shifts. His work regularly includes transporting critically ill COVID-19 patients to the hospital. He works at one of of busiest stations in the county and during nearly every shift, he has an exposure to someone that is positive for or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. When he gets off shift at 7am, after a busy and sleepless night, he supervises our young daughters with virtual schooling from our home while I head off to work.

I am an elementary School Nurse, trying to navigate student health in the midst of a global pandemic. My duties have changed a little this year. On top of injuries and insulin injections, I am spending much of my time completing outbreak surveillance with the local health department and ushering sick students into isolation while they await parent pick up. I'm making sure our school is following mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I am calming anxious teachers. I am reassuring students and parents.

N95 masks and face shields have become our regular attire. We rarely take time off because there is not enough staffing to cover our absences. We are just two of the many essential workers in this pandemic.

As trained COVID-19 vaccinators, we spend many of our days off at vaccination clinics, providing community members with the COVID-19 vaccine so that someday we can all return to pre-pamdemic life.

At the end of the day, we are tired. We spend as much family time with our daughters as we can until we tuck them in at night. And with the small window of time we have remaining before we go to sleep ourselves, we try to fit in whatever home exercise we can. We are both marathoners and are blessed to have a treadmill at home that we share. A peloton bike would be a game changer for us and would allow us to exercise side by side. My favorite place to be.

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