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He's in the National Guard, she's a long-term care nurse, COVID-19 has changed their lives

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NEENAH, Wis. (CBS 58) - A long-term care nurse with a husband in the National Guard, is now balancing life and work with two young boys amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Chris and Rebecca Philpot went from seeing each other every day to now maybe seeing each other once a week after coronavirus hit the state. Chris is called to serve in the National Guard almost every day, and Becky is navigating life as a nurse for senior assisted living facilities.

“I’ve been working in healthcare since I was 15 and it’s something I always knew I wanted to do,” said Rebecca Philpot, a long-term care nurse for ThedaCare.

Rebecca Philpot is a Nurse Practitioner for seniors in Neenah, some days only seeing patients 90 or older. Every day there’s a level of uncertainty, knowing if an outbreak happens in one building, it’ll put a burden on the healthcare system.

Philpot is not allowed to see patients unless they have a dire medical need. Every day her temperature gets checked before she goes into work, and it's followed by thorough questioning. 

“Places like Seattle and out east, when these nursing homes get infected, then the whole place gets infected,” said Rebecca.

Along with checking up on their physical health, she’s also making sure her patients know they’re cared for.

“They’re lonely, because even beyond not having visitors, a lot of them are secluded to their rooms,” she added.

Rebecca and Chris have two boys, ages three and one, but Chris is now gone six to seven days a week serving as a Company Commander at the Wisconsin National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.

“When we try to do a talk on the phone every night but it’s hard for my three-year-old to understand why I’m gone and why I can’t be there,” said Chris.

“It takes a village to raise kids and right now, I don’t have that village,” Rebecca said.

Chris has to make sure the soldiers have lodging, food and pay during their missions. Their missions include helping Milwaukee’s isolation centers for the homeless, and serving as poll workers on Election Day.

“I joined it because I wanted to do these things,” Chris added.

Even with a family to support, both Rebecca and Chris know their calling is to serve their communities in a time when they’re needed most.

“This is kind of what we’re here for,” said Chris. “We’re there to support them and help the people of Wisconsin."

“I think that everyone on the front lines is ready and willing to help out when and if that happens,” Rebecca said.

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