‘I Felt Like I Was Sent Two Angels’: Facebook Group Pairs Up Medical Workers With RVs To Self-Isolate During Coronavirus Pandemic

Families of healthcare workers and first responders are getting help as hundreds of RV owners are lending their rigs to people on the frontlines of the cornonavirus pandemic so they can isolate but still be near loved ones.

‘I Felt Like I Was Sent Two Angels’: Facebook Group Pairs Up Medical Workers With RVs To Self-Isolate During Coronavirus Pandemic

HILLSBORO, Mo. (CBS Local) — For Sarah Willie, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at a nursing home in Hillsboro, Missouri, coming home after a long day had become almost as stressful as work itself.

Willie lives with her fiancé and her ailing mother in nearby House Springs. Her mom suffers from underlying medical conditions that along with her age, make her highly susceptible to the novel coronavirus.

“She suffers from congestive heart failure and lung problems and she’s a severe diabetic so she has amputations and all those fun stuff,” she told CBS Local’s Katie Johnston. “You know, I may be able to fight [COVID-19] off, but she won’t. She can’t,” Willie said.

To protect her mom, Willie considered leaving the house and staying somewhere else for the duration of the pandemic. Then she came across RVs 4 MDs, a Facebook group that connects frontline health care workers and first responders with free mobile housing — typically recreational vehicles and campers — so they can stay close to home while still distancing from their families.

RVs 4 MDs was launched on March 24 by Emily Phillips, a mother of three from Celina, Texas. She had posted on Facebook asking if anybody had an RV that her family could rent so her husband, an ER doctor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, could safely self-isolate at their home.

“Within five minutes of my post, somebody offered their RV and I couldn’t believe it,” she recalled. “Her name was Holly Haggard, and she offered it for free and I thought that was amazing. So my husband and I drove over there, got it and on the way home, somebody else said that they needed an RV. And so I said to Holly, ‘let’s make this a thing.'”

With a network of volunteers spanning across the nation, Phillips says RVs for MDs has made approximately 900 matches and counting. The group, which has grown to an astonishing 30,000 members, has also expanded internationally to operate in places like Dubai and Australia.

“It’s unbelievable,” she says. “I’ve never seen so many selfless people get together to help a mission, especially with all the anxiety and depression and people that have been having it come together to join forces with us to help this, I’ve never seen anything blow up like this. It’s been divine.”

When Willie posted her request, she was prepared to wait a week or two to hear back. But within 48 hours, she was matched with a spacious, luxury RV donated by Marty and Donna Bondurant, a local couple.

“Complete strangers, total strangers and I feel it was a godsend in a way. I felt like I was sent two angels,” she says. “They have gone over the top for me, over the top.”

Willie moved in just before Easter.

“I get to sleep in a nice, big king-sized bed. I get food to eat. I get a washer and dryer to wash my clothes and dry my clothes. I mean it’s luxury in a sense because it’s better looking than my house, honestly, it’s so nice.”

The only downside for Willie is that the RV is so big, she’s not able to park it in front of her home and thereby see her fiancé and mother on a regular basis. Instead, she’s staying about 20-30 minutes away on the Bondurants’ property.

Willie says she feels a bit lonely, but says she’s staying strong by keeping busy and maintain a regular schedule an regiment.

“If it wasn’t for Marty and Donna for saving her life by offering me a place to go…” she tearfully says. “It has impacted my life. This group really has changed my life for the better.”

Source : CBS Tampa Florida More   

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Nurse Accuses VA Of Ordering Her To Work While Sick

“It's a disservice to veterans to possibly expose them to more illness."

Nurse Accuses VA Of Ordering Her To Work While Sick

BOSTON (CBS) – Fearing retaliation, a Veterans Administration nurse didn’t want to be identified for this story. Sick for several weeks, she said the VA told her to get back to work or risk losing her job.

Telling WBZ she had symptoms that included upper respiratory issues, she was at first told to quarantine. After she didn’t improve, she asked for more time to come back. But, she said, she was told if she didn’t return to work, she would be considered AWOL. She said she feels the VA is bullying people to come back because they need the staff.

With thousands of health care workers sick with COVID-19, facilities are scrambling to care for veterans and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

“I feel the pain on both sides, but I have to feel the pain on the veterans’ side, and I don’t want them to become any more infected than what I’m witnessing,” said veterans advocate Steve Connor.

Connor said he’s seen firsthand at the state-run Soldiers Home in Holyoke what can happen when protocols aren’t followed. The state says more than 50 veterans have died and dozens more tested positive for COVID-19

He said there has been no flattening of the curve. Calling it a tragic situation where at least two veterans die a day, Connor said it is hard to watch

For the nurse WBZ-TV spoke to – it is that kind of tragedy she said she wants to avoid.

“It’s a disservice to veterans to possibly expose them to more illness by this practice of having staff come in if they are sick or showing symptoms,” she said.

In a statement, Maureen P. Heard, USCG (Ret.), Chief Communications Officer/Public Affairs Officer for the Veterans Administration New England Healthcare System, said:

Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, employees who test positive are sent home, mitigating further risk of transmission to other patients and staff.

CDC guidance states that health care providers who have tested positive for COVID-19 can return to work after they have been asymptomatic for 10 days. VA follows that guidance, while immediately isolating/quarantining employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms as appropriate.

Source : CBS Boston More   

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