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Whereas most individuals are working towards social distancing in public, some are doing it underneath the identical roof.
Wendy Jackson, 62, is a pediatric emergency room doctor at Howard County Common Hospital in Maryland. Her husband, Robert Jackson, 71, is an audio engineer and government director of a nonprofit. He’s severely immunocompromised due to a kidney transplant 4 years in the past.
As a result of Wendy runs the chance of being uncovered to the coronavirus at work, the couple made the troublesome resolution to reside collectively … 6 ft aside.
The couple sat down of their basement — which Wendy affectionately calls “Robert’s man cave” — in North Laurel, Md., to speak about their scenario.
Hunker Down Diaries is a brand new collection from Radio Diaries, sharing quick diaries and conversations between folks thrown collectively by the pandemic. What are we studying about one another as we undergo this? We’re occupied with folks caught in sudden circumstances, folks on the entrance traces of the pandemic, and people with no security internet.
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“We just about exist in the identical home, however a minimum of 6 or eight ft aside,” says Wendy.
They’re sleeping in two totally different bedrooms, utilizing two loos, and making an attempt to not spend a lot time collectively in the identical room. Robert admits that originally, he was proof against the concept of social distancing at dwelling, however Wendy finally satisfied him.
“I’m very lucky to be married to a doctor, as a result of undoubtedly once I’m not doing what I am presupposed to do, I am being advised, and I am made conscious of it,” he says, laughing.
Wendy and Robert each say that it’s extremely troublesome to remain 6 ft other than a partner of 15 years. When Robert asks Wendy how the dearth of bodily intimacy is affecting her, she says it is “fairly tough.”
“What I miss most is simply the human contact. Quite a lot of issues are higher transmitted by means of contact than by means of discuss,” she says.
She tries to create intimacy by doing little issues for Robert, like “repair your favourite meals, or spray your pillow with lavender.”
When Wendy asks Robert if he was terrified of contracting COVID-19, he says no, however he understands that he have to be cautious.
“Worry just isn’t the phrase I might use,” Robert says. “However on the similar time, I am not naive.”
On account of his kidney transplant, Robert should take a every day routine of immunosuppressing drugs to maintain his physique from rejecting the brand new kidney. Meaning his immune system would have issue combating the coronavirus.
When Wendy comes dwelling from work on the hospital, she alters within the storage, leaves her garments in a bag, and showers instantly. She continually cleans their three-story townhouse and does all of the grocery procuring and different vital errands in order that Robert does not should work together with the general public.
The potential for bringing the virus dwelling weighs closely on Wendy. Generally she breaks down in tears earlier than leaving for work within the morning.
“My concern is infecting you. Even when I wasn’t exhibiting any signs in any respect. It is at all times behind my thoughts as a result of it is such a definite risk,” she tells Robert.
When the pandemic first hit, Wendy says she thought of retiring after 37 years caring for sick children.
“I simply do not need to lose you,” she tells Robert.
However finally, she determined to maintain working, and be extraordinarily cautious.
“I simply determined to not be fearful, however to have religion as a substitute,” she says. Robert helps her resolution.
Going ahead, Wendy says, they’re “simply taking it sooner or later at a time.”
This story was produced by Sarah Kate Kramer of Radio Diaries, with enhancing by Deborah George, Ben Shapiro, Nellie Gilles and Joe Richman. To listen to extra tales from the Hunker Down Diaries collection, subscribe to the Radio Diaries Podcast.
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