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In sickness and in health: COVID-19 pandemic stress tests marriages of health care workers on the front lines (Dr. David Barbic, SPH)

Stephen Massaro, a registered practical nurse in long-term care in Thunder Bay, stands with his wife, Natalie Vibert, and their two daughters June and Grace. (Photo credit: The Globe And Mail)

Waiting for his COVID-19 test results, Stephen Massaro spent 10 lonely and uneasy days holed up alone in his guesthouse in Thunder Bay this spring.

Mr. Massaro, a registered practical nurse who works in long-term care, was experiencing symptoms and quarantined himself away from the family home. After eating the dinners left outside his door by his wife, Mr. Massaro wished his daughters goodnight through their bedroom windows. His wife, Natalie Vibert, 34, was left alone to school the girls, 5 and 7, while working from home – this as she grieved her father’s recent death. In frequent video calls, she and her husband felt their panic mounting.

“We need good evidence about what this pandemic is doing to health care workers and their families to be able to support them,” said David Barbic, a clinical assistant professor in emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia who is leading the survey; 300 front-line workers have responded so far.

“They will need assistance over the next six months, the year and onwards,” said Dr. Barbic, who works as an emergency physician at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Click here for the full story on The Globe And Mail.

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