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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

COVID-19 isolates Marshalltown doctor from family for over a month

Jacob Flinkman had to quarantine from his wife and four children.

If you are like most people, COVID-19 has forced you to spend more time around the ones you live with. 

That has not been the case for everybody.

Jacob Flinkman is an emergency room doctor in Marshalltown. 

In March, because of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, he opted to isolate from his wife and four young children, something he had not anticipated happening in his field.

"I never really considered the whole isolation from the family aspect of it," Flinkman told Local 5. "I certainly considered being at risk in my job, being exposed to different diseases. That's kind of part of it, that's what I signed up for."

For 43 days, he spent nights at another doctor's house and days looking at his own house in Johnston from the outside. Flinkman's youngest child was just a year old.

"There's no way you can explain to a one year old why you have to leave or when you'll be back because they don't have the concept of time," Flinkman said.

So for a month and a half, he read bedtime stories through a screen and played tic-tac-toe on a window before finally getting to hold those he holds most dear.

"That was awesome, that was a great day. A great several days actually. I feel like we are still attached at the hip," Flinkman said. "Although it was challenging to go through at the time and inconvenient, there's always somebody who has it worse than you."

A good reminder as some of us may be at our wits end with our loved ones from spending so much time with them. It could be worse. It could be the opposite.

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