Deborah Torres knows all about balancing life and work. She works at a hospital in Southern California as a registered nurse.
As more patients came in with COVID-19 symptoms, Torres decided to move out of her house in an attempt to keep her family safe from the coronavirus.
“It was really scary for me knowing that I could possibly bring something in my home and my kids, especially my four-year-old could get sick because of me,” she said.
First, Torres moved into a hotel and later an Airbnb.
She still visits her family but only sees them once a week and from a safe distance.
“I actually on purpose don’t go often because it’s almost like a tease to me,” Torres said.
Paying out of pocket for more than a month, Torres said living on her own is adding financial stress to an already emotional situation.
“Sometimes I’ll go to a store and I’ll just randomly be in an aisle that reminds me of something of my daughter,” she said. “And I’ll literally almost breakdown in tears in that aisle.”
The hospital Torres works at is now providing free rooming for staff who are caring for COVID-19 patients which she says is making her dream of holding her children again a little more real.
“My heart is heavy,” she said. “I miss them a lot. I miss physically touching them and kissing them goodnight.”
Torres says her goal is to be home on May 15, her daughter’s birthday.
“That was on her wish list on her birthday,” Torres said. “That mommy comes home.”
That wish, however, won’t come true until Torres feels it’s safe to return to her family and she no longer works in COVID-19 units.