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Parenting in a Pandemic: Jacksonville nurse afraid of bringing virus home to family

"It's starting to slow down a little bit which I'm hoping is a great sign and look into the future for our community and our nation," said Braiden Lippi.

Parenting in a Pandemic, a series on Good Morning Jacksonville this week, peeked into the homes and lives of moms across the United States. 

On Monday we began with a look at things in the epicenter of the pandemic, New York City. Now we are wrapping things up on the First Coast at Baptist South..

 "It was definitely a whirlwind of change," said Braiden Lippi, a nurse on the First Coast at Baptist South. "It happened very quickly. We went from pretty much not seeing anything to within a week or so just being full of COVID-19 patients. Trying to deal with those changes was really hard not only as a nurse but as a mom. I was very scared. Terrified of bringing it home to my family or to myself."

Lippi's routine includes 12 to 14-hour workdays on a locked-down COVID unit at Baptist South. When she gets off work she'll meet her masked husband at the garage door, with gloves on and disinfectant in hand. 

All while her three-year-old twin daughters, Emmy and Maya eagerly wait to greet their mother.

"They now know that they can't touch mommy until mommy is clean," Lippi said. "So they always ask me 'Mommy are you dirty still? Can I touch you can I hug you?' so it's really sweet."

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She's learned to shed the worries of the world while leaving her scrubs at the garage door.

"I'm learning to cope with it better," Lippi said. "The first few weeks I was extremely emotional. The first COVID death that I had that I wasn't expecting I broke down. I was struggling really hard with it. I was very anxious all of the time. And I found that now since I can disconnect on my days off I am mom, wife and daughter. It has helped a lot with my mental sanity."

She says her young daughters are blissfully unaware of what's going on. They're simply enjoying spending more time at home. They haven't been able to visit grandparents, instead drive-by visits with air hugs and kisses are doing the trick.

"I kind of explained to them that nana and papa may be sick so we can't touch them or hold them right now but we can wave and send kisses," Lippi said. 

"We just have to keep telling ourselves that it's temporary and we're going to get through it. It's starting to slow down a little bit which I'm hoping is a great sign and look into the future for our community and our nation."

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