Like most of the country, Stephanie Scurlock and her three children have been self-isolating for weeks to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Scurlock's husband, Joshua, however, is a chief general surgery resident at a central Massachusetts hospital, where he works in areas such as the ICU to help manage COVID-19 patients.
"The kids and I are not quarantining ourselves from him mostly because we have nowhere for him — or us — to go," Scurlock told TODAY Parents. "Our entire family is in California ... so we are just taking the precautions that we can."
Those precautions include Joshua showering as soon as he comes home, keeping his laundry separate and wiping down everything he brings into the house with disinfectant wipes. But as the mom of three young kids, Scurlock worries about her children being exposed to coronavirus.
Scurlock recently took to her Instagram account, where she posts frequently about family life and being married to a doctor, to share a photo of her kids. In a post, her kids — Ryan, 6, Rory, 4, and Griffin, 18 months — are dressed in their dad's (clean) scrubs holding a sign that reads, "Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear scrubs, like our daddy. Stay home."
Scurlock says she shared the image after reading statements online about health care workers "knowing the risks when they became a doctor, nurse, etc." and having "signed up for" a life of possibly bringing illness home to their families. She was tired of arguments against social distancing based on people being "young and healthy" and feeling they do not need to quarantine because of the low chance of coronavirus being fatal for them.
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"As the wife of a physician, this is upsetting on a myriad of levels," said Scurlock. "What I hoped to convey through my photo of the kids was that it isn't just about the health care workers. It's not just about you. Other people's lives are directly affected by your choices, good or bad. My husband may have 'signed up' to be a doctor, but my kids sure didn't."
"If you won't stay home for healthcare workers or 'old people,' maybe you'll stay home for their children," she added. "(The photo) shows us what is truly at stake here if we don't do our part to fight this virus."
"It's easy to read statistics and articles and think that it doesn't affect you, but then you see a photo of someone's children who stare it in the face via their father every day and perhaps that makes you pause, because you can put a face on what's going on."