Frontline workers’ isolation RV sparks 311 complaints

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque couple working on the front lines of the COVID pandemic, have been quarantining in a camper at the end of their workday but now neighbors are complaining about the arrangement. The trailer covers about half the width of one part of a sidewalk, but the owners said they’ve only recently got the trailer because they’re healthcare workers who have worked with coronavirus patients.

The Chavez family lives in a quiet neighborhood off Juan Tabo and Candelaria but recent 311 complaints about their new trailer have made a lot of noise. “I was not really frustrated, I just knew that the person who had complained probably didn’t understand why it was there,” said Michael and Brandy Chavez.

Within six weeks of parking their trailer here, they’ve had two separate 311 complaints about their trailer hovering over the sidewalk. The family said there’s a reason why they’ve kept it here. “We both had possible exposures at work and we both had patients that were being tested for COVID,” said the Chavez family.

Brandy is a nurse practitioner and Michael is a paramedic. Before finding this trailer, they’ve had to pitch a tent in their garage. Now, this trailer keeps them isolated from their kids in case they come into contact with COVID-19 positive patients. “Not being able to stay in your own home is one of the worst experiences I’ve faced as a healthcare provider,” said Brandy.

After the city paid them a visit, they’ve laid down bricks next to their sidewalk so people can get around the trailer. After they explained their situation to nearby residents, neighbors have been supportive. The Chavez family hopes people around town will be more compassionate to other front line workers in case they too have to set up a temporary home during this time.

“Know that there’s a nurse around the corner for wherever you live or a doctor or any essential worker that is probably doing the same thing and just be understanding,” said Brandy.

The Chavez family said they got a warning from the city about the trailer over the sidewalk but after this pandemic passes, they will be moving the trailer so it is out of people’s way. The city said they will send a parking enforcement rep to see if they can help clear the sidewalk and keep their RV on site.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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