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Facebook Group matching healthcare workers with strangers who have RVs to loan

Healthcare workers are terrified they'll not just catch COVID-19, but infect their family. So some are using RVs for an extra layer of safety during the pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, California — Patricia Shoemaker, who works at Kaiser Permanente's emergency room in Sacramento, developed coronavirus symptoms last month. So she decided it was best to self-isolate and send her two young daughters to stay with relatives.

But after two weeks in quarantine, she says she still didn't feel safe enough to bring her daughters home while returning to work. So she decided to rent an RV, something that has been in high demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shoemaker put out a plea on her personal Facebook page. Soon after a Facebook group called "RVs 4 MDs" reached out and connected her to Kathy and Charles Babcock, a retired couple from the San Francisco area.

The couple drove their RV to Sacramento last Friday.

RELATED: As Californians stay home, healthcare workers live in hotels and prep for coronavirus peak

"My heart just swelled because I just feel so grateful," Shoemaker said.

Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new program to help provide front-line workers with free or discounted hotel rooms. On Tuesday, he said that over 2,600 hotel reservations have been made.

But for Shoemaker, being away from her family and staying in a hotel didn't seem like the right answer for something that will last a while. 

For now, the RV will serve as an extra layer of safety from her family. She said she'll use it as a decontamination room before entering her home after she goes back to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Patricia says this new layer of safety means she can bring her girls home.

Kathy says she can relate to the anxiety and uncertainly Patricia feels, because she was an ER nurse in San Francisco during the Aids crisis in the '80s.

"To me, this fulfilled a desire of mine, you know," said Kathy. "I am retired and I’m not offering to go back to work in the emergency room, but I'm happy to help support those who do."

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Mayde Gomez.



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WATCH MORE: Governor Newsom gives an update on California's coronavirus (COVID-19) response | April 21, 2020

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