Joshua Archote/The Lion's Roar
Throughout the past several weeks, students have been forced to stay at home with their families as Louisiana responds to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some students with parents in the medical profession have had to make additional adjustments.
On March 22, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a stay-at-home order which directed the closure of businesses deemed as nonessential such as movie theaters and barbershops. Businesses deemed as essential, including healthcare providers, have been permitted to remain open and have adapted their operation to address the pandemic.
Several students have parents who are currently working jobs that are considered essential, including senior kinesiology major Claudia Rome.
“My mother works for Humana insurance company,” said Rome. “While she is not working directly against the disease, she works countless hours to help get food and supplies to the elderly to make sure that they are safe and healthy.”
During the pandemic, Rome has continued to work at a physical therapy clinic that treats patients recovering from surgeries.
“While both my family and I are not working on the front lines to help fight the disease, working in the healthcare industry right now means that you are always fighting the disease,” stated Rome. “We have to wear protective equipment in all aspects. We work countless hours to make sure the patients are getting the care they need.”
Rome also shared that her boyfriend is working as a pediatric ICU nurse. Rome described how his essential job has affected her and her family.
“He is working the front line in protecting patients,” said Rome. “He has not seen any of us since this has started. He normally strips from his scrubs as soon as he gets home and changes into normal clothes so the house isn’t contaminated. He wears a gas mask, and he is starting to get bruises on his face because of it. He is mentally and physically tired, yet he wants to go back in day after day because he wants to treat the patients.”
Sarah Shoun, sophomore kinesiology major, also described what it is like to have a loved one working in healthcare during this pandemic.
“My mother is a nurse practitioner,” shared Shoun. “I get to hear stories from her about patients who are fighting for their lives, and in general, stay up to date with current news and events regarding the coronavirus.”
Shoun described the additional safety measures that she and her family are taking due to her mother’s essential job and how it has affected her.
“We have had to stay away from loved ones and avoid shopping and interacting with people,” said Shoun. “However, since we are told to stay at home, I have been able to hang out with my family more and enjoy more quality time with them.”