COVID-19 Quarantine Life From a Mother in the Medical Field

Written by Tabitha Compton

There is no doubt that the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused families all over the world to change their routines, work from home/not work at all, and to worry about their loved ones. One family in particular, mothered by Gena Haling, gave me an inside look at what enduring COVID-19 is like for parents who are health care workers, with four children ranging from infancy to 12 years.

Haling has been a healthcare worker for about 15 years and has been a Registered Nurse (RN) since 2017. Like many of us, Haling has never experienced anything like this, especially in her time as a health care provider. She is currently employed at Aspen Transitional Rehab in Meridian, Idaho.

As an RN, Haling is considered an “essential worker” during the quarantine as well as her husband, Curtis, who is a Nurse Aid. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, work for Haling has been a rollercoaster of emotions, precautions, and lockdowns. She let me know that she has not been working with COVID-19 patients, but when she and her co-workers received news that they had a patient who may have been positive for COVID-19, she shared, “there’s a lot of anxiety for me…I think it just gives all of us a little bit of anxiety, especially for those of us who are older at work or who have kids at home,” and states later, “it does scare me, since I have a baby in my home.” The risk for spread is definitely present but being controlled as much as possible.

With children at home, these essential workers need to be able to ensure someone to watch their kids, and when asked what her solution to childcare was, she informed me that, “the facility we work at, they are pretty good at working with our schedules, so we are lucky enough to just work opposite days.” Unfortunately though, that does mean for this family, like many families in the world now, that their income has decreased due to the conditions of the quarantine for COVID-19.

School closures over the country mean that Haling’s children are home, along with kids around the world, who all need to be cared for, educated, and guided properly during this pandemic. Haling let me know that as far as school goes for her children, they will be staying home and stated, “the remote learning will be new, so we don’t exactly know what to expect as of now.” She went on to explain an email she received from their school district, where they’ve decided to refrain from distributing new information for students and their goal is to at least be able to maintain the levels of education children currently are at using review.

Home life has changed, without a doubt for everyone, but for Haling and her family, this means more than working from home and binge-watching Netflix. In order to reduce the spread of germs and COVID-19 in particular, Haling and her family have taken necessary steps to keep everyone safe. With her possible exposure to COVID-19 patients, Haling gave me a look into what happens when she gets home from work and how she does her part in flattening the curve, “I basically undress in the garage… after that I jump straight into the shower.” With kids who are notorious for putting their hands in their mouths and touching surfaces that may not be the cleanest, Haling let me know that, “we have been following the stay-at-home order…as well as frequent use of hand sanitizer and hand-washing.”

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