A Facebook group called ‘RVs 4 MDs to fight the Coronavirus’ aims to pair healthcare workers with RVs so they can safely isolate from their families while remaining close by.
The group was launched in late March, and it helps doctors and their families in the US and Canada connect with RV owners who are willing to loan out their RVs for free to support frontline workers living with their families.
Connected with ✌🏼 #BayArea families— One willing to lend out an RV at no cost. Another, looking to have their loved one (a dr on the front line) near.
Both visited @RVs4MDs.
The goal of connecting medical pros with a place to quarantine will put dad in the driveway. ❤️
— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) April 8, 2020
The St. Martins, a family in the Bay Area, was taking strict precautions to protect their three young children from the risk of exposure via their doctor Dad, Brad St. Martin, who is currently working on the front lines.
“We have him strip down at the washing machine, take everything off, and go right to the shower,” Megan St. Martin, his wife, told ABC7 News.
But then Megan came across the Facebook group in early April, and now Dr. Brad St. Martin comes home to an RV parked in their driveway.
The family shares meals out in the driveway while maintaining social distance, and Brad doesn’t have to wear a mask in his own home in the evenings. Brad said, “Thankfully, I’m healthy right now… But I just don’t want to put my family at risk of anything.”
‘RVs for MDs’ was designed to address this specific concern. Emily Phillips, a Texas woman in search of self-isolation for her husband, an ER doctor, had the idea to ask her Facebook friends if anyone had an RV he could stay in.
“I was terrified,” Phillips said. “Everybody is quarantined and I’m terrified to be in our own house.”
Holly Haggard, a stranger, responded to Emily’s post and the two went on to co-found the ‘RVs for MDs’ Facebook group.
“We started sharing the page…Overnight there were probably 50 people that joined, and then there was 100, and then there was 300… and then it jumped to 600,” said Haggard.
Since its founding, more than 24,000 people have joined the group and over 300 matches have been made.
“These are people that are literally handing their keys over to a complete stranger,” Haggard explained. “And they’re having faith in what’s going to happen.”
After reaching out to the group, Emily St. Martin’s request was quickly granted by the Poleselli family.
Michael Poleselli recalled, “I was telling Linda on Saturday that, ‘Oh, we need to move out the RV and just move it around.’ An hour later, she saw the RVs for MDs on Facebook and we said, ‘What the heck! It’s not being used. Why not?'”
“The pandemic, the stress, and the anxiety that a lot of people are feeling… It does bring solace to us to be able to bring a little bit of peace to this family,” Linda Poleselli added.
The St. Martins are certainly relieved. Now their only problem is keeping their curious 5 and 3-year-old boys out of the RV. “I think it’s going to be difficult to make sure that I’m the one staying in there, and we keep the boys out of there,” Brad said.
Megan explained, “They said they would rather have Daddy inside the house and them in the RV.”
The Poleselli’s 24-foot 2017 Aerolite by Dutchmen will remain in the St. Martin’s driveway until the pandemic passes.