CENTRAL VIRGINIA, Va. (WVIR) - As families around central Virginia celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s safe to say that it’s a holiday season unlike any other. That’s especially true for one family that’s had to keep each other at arm’s length just to keep each other safe.
Erika Proctor, her ER Nurse husband Kevin, and their four kids are used to big Thanksgivings, with food and friends to spare. This year, they’re thankful to have each other even if they still have to be apart, as the pandemic has forced them to take extra precautions.
“One of our kids is remarkable, fantastic superhero child and has some medical differences, which make her a high risk for a serious infection,” Proctor explained. “So when she gets sick, she gets really sick.”
That means Finn, Zoey, Ollie, and Eden have only been able to see their dad from a distance.
“We decided together that he would move into our RV in the driveway,” Proctor said. “That way, if he was exposed to it, and Heaven forbid he got sick, it wasn’t going to expose our superhero kid or any of the other family members.”
What they originally expected to take weeks, has stretched into months. Kevin has lived in the RV the entire time, only taking a two week break to spend time with his family in person after 2 weeks in quarantine. However, the distance has not stopped them from making the most of a bad situation.
“How do you teach a two year old, you can’t Give Daddy a hug?” Proctor asked. “He read stories to the kids across the driveway, we got Nerf guns, so that they can pretend to shoot each other. From a distance they’ve been, they kick the soccer ball around.”
Those differences include how the family celebrated this Thanksgiving.
“We celebrated our Thanksgiving on Tuesday,” Proctor said. “We made all the food, sat 20 feet apart, had our Thanksgiving and are thankful that everyone’s healthy.”
Proctor stresses that while they are hanging in there, people taking simple actions like wearing masks and socially distancing could make all the difference in keeping themselves, their neighbors, and healthcare workers safe.
“We can’t just magically create new nurses to care for people, we might have enough hospital beds, they might be able to create enough spaces, but there have to be those health care workers to take care of people.” Proctor explained. “We need to take responsibility for that we need to stop thinking of our healthcare workers as the front line and start realizing that they’re the last line of defense we need, we need to be in the front line.”