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Health Care Workers Face COVID-19 Crisis While Juggling Personal Lives


Health care workers are stressed. They're trying to manage the pressure at work and also manage their home lives, their spouses, their kids. Nicole Goodrich (ph) lives in southwest Michigan. She's the primary caretaker of her three children. She and her ex-husband are both essential workers. And at this point, they've lost their support networks.

NICOLE GOODRICH: A lot of people that normally will help me out have either quarantined themselves or they're concerned we may infect them through the kids. So it has been extremely stressful.


The lab Goodrich works at is testing for COVID-19, so she ends up spending a lot of time on the phone with worried people.

GOODRICH: My job, primarily, is client support. I'm talking to a lot of doctors and nurses and patients who are in the middle of trying to deal with this pandemic.

KING: Her ex-husband actually also works at the same lab. And fortunately, their boss has let them shuffle their shifts so one of them can always take the kids.

GOODRICH: We're handing them off every day as he goes to work and as I'm leaving work. So we exchange them in the parking lot, and the kids are spending a lot of time in the car driving back and forth, which they don't like very much.

GREENE: Goodrich says it feels like her entire life revolves around this pandemic, but she says there are still those moments of joy.

GOODRICH: Earlier, we were all in the kitchen, and one of the kids said something and we all just started laughing. And I feel like, in some ways, I'm just focusing on just that basic connection with them and taking extra time to make sure that we're having, like, quality conversations together.

GREENE: She says in all of this chaos, she can still at least grab hold of some of those simple moments.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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