COVID-19, FEATURE — April 24, 2020 at 6:33 pm

Students worry about parents who work as healthcare workers during the rise of COVID-19

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Wearing personal protective equipment, nurse April Bandi cares for a patient under investigation with possible COVID-19 symptoms inside a special negative pressure isolation room at the Emergency Department at Sharp Memorial Hospital on April 10, 2020 in San Diego, Calif. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Healthcare workers around the world have been fighting on the front lines against the spread of the coronavirus. They are putting themselves and their families at risk in order to help others recover. Due to spending copious amounts of time in hospitals with patients infected with COVID-19, medical professionals are taking special precautions to ensure that they do not spread this highly contagious virus after hours. 

Many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have parents that are currently working in the medical field. This can be nerve-racking due to the increased chance that someone in their family will catch the virus.

Anna Kasperski, a sophomore at MSD, worries about her mother who is the Assistant Nurse Manager of the Cardiac Telemetry at Delray Medical Center. Kasperski’s mother, Justyna Kasperska, is in charge of supervising and managing nurses. To prevent catching COVID-19 while at work, Kasperski’s mother washes her hands frequently and wears a gown, goggles, mask and gloves while on duty. 

A resident is transported Monday from St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor, the scene of a second coronavirus outbreak to hit a Pinellas County nursing home. Scenes like these can prompt families to think about bringing loved ones home, but advocates say there are many factors to consider first.

“It does worry me that my mom is working in the hospital during this epidemic, especially since resources like masks were low in her hospital at one point,” Kasperski said. “But I admire the courage she has to go to work and help people everyday during this time.”

When Kasperski’s mother gets home from work, she changes in the garage before entering the house and goes straight to the shower to do a deep cleanse before coming into contact with her family. 

Senior Leah Golberg finds herself in a similar situation. Golberg’s father, Jonathan Golberg, works as an Emergency Medicine Physician in both South Florida and New York. However, to avoid traveling he has only been working in the emergency rooms in Florida. As someone who is constantly in an emergency room, Golberg’s father is taking extra precautions to make sure he does not risk catching COVID-19 or spreading it to loved ones. 

“He has a specific mask and outfit he wears when someone with corona enters the facility,” Golberg said. “I know he is at an extremely high risk right now.”

Erika Rosenzweig, a senior at MSD, finds herself stressing over the well-being of her mother, May Rosenzweig, who is a Nurse-practitioner. Her job is to diagnose and treat patients in her office, causing her to come close to COVID-19 patients on a daily basis. 

Nurse-practitioner May Rosensweig covers her body with a full-length gown, gloves and mask every day at work to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Erika Rosenzweig.

“I am worried that my mom is always out with potentially sick patients. It puts her and everyone in my house at risk, constantly defeating the point of isolation,” Rosenzweig said. “I’m extremely proud of her though, for always putting her patient’s health first.”

Although students worry about the health of a loved one working in the medical field, they admire their parents’ dedication to others during such a trying time. 

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Katrina White is an editor and staff writer for The Eagle Eye newspaper. She is a competitive swimmer and dedicated student with a love for dogs.

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