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Get involved if you can

Innovation of all kinds will be needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the most innovative ideas is featured in today’s paper.

The problem? Health care workers are terrified of bringing the coronavirus home to their family after long shifts where they are either taking care of patients who have the virus, or they are at least in the same building with them. These doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and others have gone to extreme measures to distance themselves from their family during these times, and some of those measures, like renting hotel rooms, cost a lot of money.

The solution? Match up health care workers with RVs where they can stay in relative comfort and still be distanced from their family.

The “RVs for MDs To Fight the Corona Virus” Facebook group created this solution and has matched many RVs with medical professionals who can use them to stay away from their spouses, children, parents and other family members, some of whom may be elderly or immunocompromised. This temporary distancing is for the safety of their families, but it is hard enough on all of those involved, so this solution helps these families save money and take a small amount of stress from the giant load they’re carrying right now.

Local woman Frances Knaack-Day and her husband, Justin, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and physician at Navy Medical Center Portsmouth, know this challenge firsthand.

Knaack-Day has health challenges due to a childhood ingestion of lye, which caused lung damage and chronic lung aspiration pneumonia, which put her at high risk for COVID-19.

She came across the Facebook group and originally received a response from someone with a trailer to provide, but the couple wound up giving up the opportunity to help others in need.

She shared it with their friends in the military and medical field, and before she knew it, she was the state director for Virginia for the page. She said this is a great way to pay it forward to the medical community that has helped her overcome her health challenges.

Cleaning companies on the group are even offering free cleaning and disinfection services for when the medical professionals are done with the RVs and it’s time to return them to their owners.

We love this group and the innovation it shows and encourage anyone who can to get involved.