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Wash U doctor sleeping in a camper to protect her family from coronavirus

"I would not have a camper in my drive-way if this wasn't a serious thing. Covid-19 is serious and people should be practicing social distancing, " said Dr. Osborn.

CREVE COEUR, Mo. — Dr. Tiffany Osborn knows the risks and seriousness of COVID-19. That's why even when she's off-duty, she's not in her home.

Instead, Dr. Osborn is sleeping in a camper that's parked in her Creve Coeur driveway.

"We were actually saving for an extension to the house," she said with a big laugh.

The black and white camper is probably not what Dr. Osborn and her husband had in mind.

However, it is where she's temporarily living all because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I have colleagues who have done a lot of different things. People have lived in their garages. Some people sent their family away. I thought maybe living in a hotel room, but then the emergency mandate came down. I didn't know if hotels would be open. So, after a long discussion with my husband, we decided the camper was our best option," said Dr. Osborn.

She's a Washington University physician who works at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. For the last 20 years, she's specialized in emergency medicine and critical care.

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For weeks now, she's worked on the front line treating patients battling coronavirus.

"I think all healthcare providers are concerned about their families. We're concerned about how to keep our families and our patients safe from the deadly virus," added Dr. Osborn.

Concerned about her two kids and her husband, she decided to move into the camper a week ago.

Her family sits on a sofa in a makeshift living room so they can visit her.

"We can engage, but it must be at a safe distance, 6 feet apart. It's actually working out well," she said.

Of course, living outside in a camper can pull on your heart strings.

"Oh yes, I miss them terribly. It's hard not to be able to sit down in front of a television or play games together. They can't give me hugs. I can't give them hugs, but I'm fortunate because I can still see and talk to them," said Dr. Osborn.

"We're doing really well. We're doing everything we can to support her. Having experiences in the military and deployments, this is basically her deployment for the war on COVID-19." said Jeffrey Osborn, Tiffany's husband.

A "war"  Dr. Osborn and many other healthcare providers are fighting every day.

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Neighbor Arlene Warmke called the doctor in the RV a hero.

"I took her a candle so she can have a pleasant smelling fragrance in the camper. I think what she's doing is special. It's marvelous. Yes, all of the doctors and nurses are heroes to me," said Warmke.

"I just hope people are taking social distancing very seriously. Right now, it just comes down to clean your hands often and everything you touch, cover your mouth when you cough and please, by all means, keep practicing social distancing," said Dr. Osborn.

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