Social workers are coping with unique anxieties associated with the nature of their work during the coronavirus epidemic, among them home visits, lack of personal protective equipment, and keeping their children free from exposure.
Camille Frazier, a social caseworker for the Adams County Department of Human Services in Colorado, is one such essential worker – rather than work from home, she is still making her rounds and visiting homes around the state.
“We ask the families questions like, ‘Does anyone in the house have any symptoms [of coronavirus],’ or ‘has anyone in the home been out of the country recently?’” she explains, “But it’s still nerve-wracking because the virus is contagious and can be spread through asymptomatic people.”
Scarce supplies of personal protective equipment have heightened anxiety in the already risky atmosphere of home visits. “I visited about three homes before we received a care kit,” Frazier says. “When we finally got one, it only came with two masks, two scrub smocks, and three pairs of gloves that we are supposed to wash and reuse.”
And while recent legislation has been enacted to provide more funding for personal protective equipment, the materials will likely first go to first responders, leaving Camille and other welfare workers like her still vulnerable.
Read more about Camille Frazier and the risks faced by frontline social workers during the coronavirus here.