COVID-19: B.C. ER nurse self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Peter and Marcia Kent with their children, Ryder and Hunter, and dog, Koda. (Submitted photo)
Peter and Marcia Kent with their children, Ryder and Hunter, and dog, Koda. (Submitted photo)
Marcia Kent’s trailer on her Qualicum Beach property that her children and husband decorated. (Submitted photo)

Marcia Kent spends long hours at work, then returns to a trailer rather than to her family in their Vancouver Island home.

Kent is staying apart from her husband and their twin boys while working in the emergency department of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, recently designated as one of two Vancouver Island frontline COVID-19 hospitals.

“The decision to self-isolate by staying in a travel trailer on my property was a heartbreaking yet necessary one,” she said. “My husband is caring for our children on his own and it breaks my heart. I needed to make sure he’s safe to do that. It is equally hard on him navigating a new home routine, virtual schooling, meals and entertaining two active young boys while worrying about his spouse at work.”

She spent a week with her children during spring break before moving into the trailer — time full of family movie nights and board games.

“My sons and I made hearts to put up in our front window together thanking all the essential service workers in our community,” she said. “When the trailer was set up, my sons and husband surprised me with a pink neon heart light to shine through my trailer window and a cinema lightbox that reads ‘our mom is a nurse.’”

READ MORE: B.C. nurses call for mandatory shutdown of all non-essential workplaces

READ MORE: Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Kent, who has deep roots in Qualicum Beach — her grandmother was born there 100 years ago, has been adapting by Facetiming her kids and watching them play from a distance.

“I try to watch my kids from a very safe distance jump on the trampoline or play basketball in the driveway. It’s not the same though,” she said. “I don’t get to hug them, that is the hardest part, especially when in tough times, families just want to be together.”

She said it’s a balancing act between being grateful and dealing with difficult feelings that come with being apart from her children.

“I’m envious of the moms I see on my social media learning new hobbies like baking bread, tackling long-awaited home renos, hanging out with their families, or having the opportunity to work from home,” she said. “I also try to remind myself that despite everything, I’m very fortunate to have a secure job when so many have been laid off or shut down their businesses.”

Her husband Peter Kent (who worked as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s double in Terminator and other films), said it’s been important for him to focus on the positive — he said a lot of people don’t have the means to isolate from their families when needed, or don’t have another parent that can take on a more full-time role.

“She has the biggest heart out of anyone I know. We all miss her and are trying to make the best of it,” he said.

The twins, Ryder and Hunter, understand why their mom needs to isolate and are doing their best to adapt. They leave notes and make videos to try and cheer her up, but said what they want most right now, “is for this to be over so we can go back to being a family again.”

While Marcia Kent continues to go to work, she said it’s imperative that people keep staying home.

“For me, being a frontline healthcare worker during COVID-19 feels like an invisible global war of our generation. I feel prepared yet scared of the unknown,” she said. “We are very fortunate compared to other areas in the world, however, it is imperative we keep adhering to social distancing guidelines and continue being cautiously optimistic.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Coronavirusnurse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

City of Rossland looks to electrify vehicles and equipment

City council passed three motions on June 1 to work towards commitment

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Trail centenarian looking forward to her letter from the Queen

With COVID protocols quashing gatherings, Irene can only have a small celebration for her 100th bday

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Angel Flight takes flight from Creston after being grounded by COVID-19

Angel Flight is a volunteer-run organization which gives people flights to doctors appointments

Most Read