MISSOULA — Many consider themselves lucky to still have a job as the layoffs continue to mount during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
But in a household with one or more members that are at high risk of complications from COVID-19, coming home after work can be extremely stressful for the ones who care about them.
We spoke with one family in Missoula who is battling that fear every day.
Three-year-old Charlie Pfaff, her sister Bailee, and her mother Megan have been in self-isolation since March 14 mainly because little Charlie has severe asthma and has been hospitalized in the past for being in respiratory distress.
"We just hit a little while ago a year of not doing hospital visits,” Megan said. “So, we don't plan on going back to the hospital any time soon."
Megan has taken time away from running her own business during the outbreak to stay home with the girls while her husband goes to work.
Although the couple says they feel lucky that Matt still has a stable job, they worry about bringing the virus home to their children.
"It's a constant worry that my baby could be rushed to the hospital by herself,” Megan told MTN News. “It's an emotional thought that she could be sick, and I wouldn't be able to be by her side during that time."
Dr. Ronald Black, a family physician and Emergency Room doctor says though the information is continuously evolving surrounding this pandemic, for now, they believe there is good news for parents who are fearful they will bring the virus home to their loved ones.
"It turns out to keep this virus out of your home we think is pretty easy,” said Dr. Black, who also offered up several recommendations.
First off, when you arrive home, go straight to an area where you can change out of your clothes, put them into the wash, and then jump in the shower. He also says to brush your teeth, wipe down surfaces, and then, and only then, can you interact with your family.
The Pfaff family is already practicing these methods. Charlie's big sister Bailee also has a message she wants to share with the public. “Stay home and stay safe.”
Megan recently posted on Facebook saying the family needed some art supplies and thanks to their friends and family, she says within a few hours the family had enough supplies to last until the girls turned 18.