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

The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on B.C. elementary schools ranks schools across the province based on standardized tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fraser Institute delivers Greater Victoria elementary schools a mixed report card

The annual report card compares test scores of schools across the province

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Higher cannabis sales grew the income of Canadian farmers

Higher cannabis receipts added $1.7 billion to the revenue of farmers

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read