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)
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’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

Crews retrieved the overturned commercial truck from the crash scene on Friday, Nov. 20. Photo: Betsy Kline
UPDATE: Kootenay woman dies in Genelle collision

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 19.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Marty Horswill, March 14, 1944 – November 9, 2020. File photo
Seventy years of song: Marty Horswill’s legacy remembered

The third-generation Nelson resident and vocalist died on Nov. 9

Interior Health says there have been 24 cases of COVID-19 in Salmo in November. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
UPDATED: COVID-19 cases rise to 24 in Salmo

The cases are connected to social events in the village

Trail RCMP seized illicit drugs, cash and a weapon following a traffic stop in West Trail on Nov. 18. Photo: Trail RCMP
West Kootenay man, woman face drug charges after traffic stop

Police report that three types of illicit drugs were seized as well as cash and a Taser

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read