Local family sets up self-isolation trailer for ER nurse during pandemic

A sign on the barricades around a trailer, which was set up by the family of an ER nurse to allow her to self-isolate while not at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Submitted photo.

The family of a local front line ER nurse is working with the City of Kingston after a resident reported a bylaw infraction when they set up a trailer to allow the nurse to self-isolate after work.

The nurse, who will not be named to protect her privacy, became concerned for the safety of her husband and son as she continues to return home from working in the emergency department of a local hospital during the COVIS-19 pandemic. After discussing the matter together, the family decided the best solution was to erect a trailer on their front lawn for the nurse to stay in during this state of emergency. The family then surrounded it with a wooden barricade to maintain physical distancing in an effort to keep their neighbourhood safe, said Jim Deline, the husband of the ER nurse.

Deline explained that, prior to setting up the trailer for his wife’s self-isolation, the matter had been discussed with those who live on their small cul-de-sac in Kingston’s west end.

“All of the immediate neighbours have a Facebook page that we communicate through and agreed that it was a proper and respectable option to set up the trailer,” Deline said.

However, the idea was not to the liking of one resident, who reported the trailer set-up to the City of Kingston for violating by-laws – the barricade around the trailer blocks off a section of the sidewalk on the street. When a Bylaw Enforcement Officer arrived at the family’s home, it took some neighbours by surprise, prompting one neighbour to make a post on Facebook about the issue.

The trailer, set up to allow an ER nurse to self-isolate when not at work, blocks a section of the sidewalk on a street in the Kingston’s west end. Submitted photo.

“We live on a great cul de sac, with amazing neighbours… one of those neighbours is an E.R. Nurse… To protect her family she came up with a solution of borrowing a trailer to live in. She asked all the neighbours on our cul de sac if we cared if it was going to be there. Nobody had a problem,” neighbour Cindy Vallier wrote in the post on the evening of Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020.

“But now we find out, as the bylaw officer is speaking to them, that someone has called to complain??? Really??? In this crazy life we are all trying to just stay safe,” the post continues. “The bylaw officer is trying to help figure out a solution… but really, someone had the nerve to complain because they had to walk around it? Or look at it??? I hope that person doesn’t get sick and need her help at the hospital!”

Since the post was created, it’s garnered a lot of attention locally on social media, with over 285 comments and 287 shares at time of press. Many of those commenting and sharing the post voiced outrage that the City had been contacted in the first place.

But Deline emphasized that, despite the situation being reported, the City has been helpful in working with his family during this difficult time.

“The City sent a [bylaw] enforcement officer, and we had a polite discussion about it. And I just got off the phone with the City again,” Deline said in a phone interview on Thursday, Apr. 3, 2020. “They’re on board with us, and they’re providing us with an immediate two-week permit to block the sidewalk.”

The trailer sits on the boulevard between the sidewalk and the street. Submitted photo.

The city is also going to erect their barricades and signage to provide a barricaded walking path around the trailer for pedestrians, Deline said.

“I think it went smoothly and I didn’t expect anything less,” he said of working with the City. “Sometimes people get too excited by simple things, right? It’s just a matter of discussing it, and, if it becomes a debateable issue, then you have to be able to put forward the debate in a respectable manner and come up with a respectable decision.”

The City of Kingston indicated they are continuing to work with the family regarding the issue.

“The City is aware of the situation and has been in contact with the homeowner to discuss short-term options. We will continue to work with the homeowner to find the best long-term solution for everyone,” the City said in a statement to Kingstonist. “We ask that residents contact the City directly for any parking-related matters at 613-546-0000.”

Deline said that, while some people got “pretty excited and a little verbal” on the Facebook post regarding the situation, he hopes people will take away an understanding of the need to give the City an opportunity to make a decision on matters such as this one. He said he and his family are handling the situation well, and are all in good spirits, and that he hopes the attention their situation is getting will serve as a reminder to everyone about the importance of social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It may seem excessive, but in the reality of it, this is an extremely contagious virus that’s going around. We need to treat it as such, because look at the Americans, and other countries like Spain and Italy. A little bit of distance can save us a lot of headache,” he said.

“Tonight is going to be the first night where we’re going to have a degree of separation, and we’ll just take it day by day.”

The trailer is meant to keep both the family and community safe while a local ER nurse self-isolates between shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

13 thoughts on “Local family sets up self-isolation trailer for ER nurse during pandemic

  • To whoever complained you need to check yourself. Why is your view more important than people’s lives?

  • People should be grateful of the work that ER Nurse does every single day. And I believe is very self conscious. And worried about keeping her family safe and the community.
    Thank you for all your hard work ?God bless you and your family.

  • This nurse along with so many others have been putting their lives at risk. No different than a soldier fighting for the rest of us far away.
    Thank you for your dedication.
    As far as the trailer interfering with your view, think about the view you may have looking up at grass roots.

  • Unbelieveable that anyone would have the complaints about this! It is amazing that you and your co-workers have the strength to do what you do. God Bless!

    • We have a pop up that has a heater if anyone needs a place to self isolate. This is a great idea.

  • Regardless of the kindness or love in an act, there will always be some grumpy so-an-so who wants to be important and bring the whole thing down. Selfish to a fault, that kind of person prevails and doesn’t care about the ugly vibes they send…..and they don’t know about being humble and pure hearted. It’s a real shame.

  • I get it, safety in self isolating is an important piece of this horrible puzzle. You probably answered these questions already, but I’ll ask anyhow. Would the trailer on the road be as effective? I’m sure a permit would be made available. The barriers placed on the boulevard would still have the same effect. That’s was my first thought. Anyway I’m glad the city accommodated you and hope your neighbor(s) come to understand it’s a temporary solution for a hopefully temporary crisis. Stay healthy and safe

  • Keep up the good work; I do not know you personally, but love you all. You are heroes to me and many more folk. ???????

  • SHAME ON THAT PERSON THAT COMPLAINED about a nurse trying to do the right thing saving lives
    city bylaw is worried about a little bit of sidewalk when all the drunken Queen students can shut down streets in Kingston every year!!!!!!!!!! God bless you and your family thank you for all you do for us.

  • I would suggest a boarded walkway semi circling, around the trailer, on to their grass would be appropriate and solve the issue for all.

  • It’s interesting that last month I saw on tv a student who came up with the idea of housing homeless people in Queen’s dorm rooms but nobody thought about the safety and well being of the nurses and doctors. The City of Kingston found buildings to put the homeless in safe places but does nothing for this nurse and other essential workers who put their life in danger every day for all of us. The City , the MP’s office and the health officials should have worked to have a plan in place to isolate the essential workers should they became infected. Instead of solving this problem the the local MP is too busy making daily phone calls to my house and others’ to have open phone discussions about the current COVID situation.

  • thank you for not allowing my comment. It wasn’t offensive, I’ve pointed out the truth which is hard to swallow for your publication. I’ve spent already too much time on this site. Wish you luck in your future endeavors.

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