Mississippi Heroes of Covid-19: Husband and Wife Coronavirus Caregivers
This is the next installment of our “Mississippi Heroes of Covid-19” series, where we highlight how various essential personnel — physicians, nurses, EMTs, police, military — are playing a role in dealing with Covid-19 in Mississippi. If you are on the front lines of fighting Coronavirus, or know someone who is, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for a future PKCares article.
Sarah Evans Dancsisin and her husband could both speak to the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Mississippi families. Both have to suit up in a mask, gown and other PPE to do their jobs; both face added risk just by going in to work to help others heal.
“I am a registered nurse working at a small hospital in south Mississippi,” Dancsisin said. “I’ve worked here for eight years, floating between ICU, the emergency room, and labor and delivery units. My husband, David, is also a registered nurse who works full time in the ER.”
Just as it has done with most people, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the regular activities of this family, which includes two young children.
“When all the talk of this virus first started, and schools got cancelled, David and I sat down and made a strategic game plan for how to keep our children as safe as possible,” Dancsisin explained. “Both my and his parents live farther away, and we advised them all to obey the strict quarantine suggestions. We also cancelled all social engagements and became pretty reclusive, staying on our small farm, except to go to work.”
Dancsisin referenced the idea that “the difference between adventure and adversity is attitude,” and it seems both she and her husband are trying to take the added stress of Covid-19 in stride. They’re also attempting to limit the disruptions to the lives of their four-year-old son, Harper, and two-year-old daughter, Hadley. She said keeping a normal routine in place for the kids “has been really important to us.”
“Yes, we have some changes. For example, David or I stay isolated on one side of the house when one of us are working a stretch of shifts,” she explained.
Despite these accommodations, the kids are receiving everything they always had.
“We still do schoolwork every morning,” she said. “We still read bedtime stories every night. We still go to church every Sunday, but now ‘virtually.’ We set up an outdoor church with chairs, a cross, and the kids help decorate with freshly picked wildflowers and weeds. Then, we listen to our church’s live-streamed sermon.”
“It’s been important to us not just to keep them safe from this virus physically, but also mentally,” she added.
Dancsisin noted an unintended benefit of establishing a sense of normalcy at home: “I’ve noticed this routine has helped with my anxiety and fear related to my professional demands,” she said.
This medical professional and parent gave a bit of very simple, but meaningful advice for Parents & Kids readers.
“As trying as these times are, please try to find the silver lining; take the time you have wanted to accomplish things, and do them now. Enjoy your cleared calendars,” she suggested.
“Oh … and wash your hands!”