March 29, 2020 at 2:06 AM EDT – Updated March 29 at 9:37 AM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV/CNN) – A photo of an Arkansas father and his 1-year-old son separated by a glass door is a reminder of the sacrifice healthcare workers are making while on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jared Burks, a resident physician at a northeast Arkansas hospital, is one of many healthcare workers separating from their families to keep them safe from COVID-19.
“He is working right now on a rotation that has him all around the hospital, including the ER, and he just felt like it would be responsible for us to quarantine from each other,” said Jared’s wife, Alyssa Burks.
Alyssa Burks shared a photo on Facebook of her husband and their 1-year-old son, Zeke Burks, separated by a glass door. She says it was taken after Jared Burks had been away from his family for more than two weeks, and he was seeing Zeke crawl for the first time.
“As soon as he saw his dad, he just raced to the door, basically. He got up on the glass because I think he wanted him to hold him. So, it was sad. It was cute, but it was really heartbreaking because it’s hard,” Alyssa Burks said.
The photo has been shared more than 40,000 times, and many commented thanking the Burks and all medical families. The Burks say they’re counting their blessings despite the hardships, and they’re encouraging others to do the same.
“I’ve had a lot of people that have commented and said thank you for the sacrifice your husband is making and all of the other medical staff that are working alongside him – but also the families they have that are at home. Some of us are not living in the same house right now. It turns out I’m not nearly the only one that’s staying away from my husband right now. It was really neat to see I’m not alone in this and that the general community is responding to it in a positive way,” Alyssa Burks said.
The Burks and many other medical families don’t know when they’ll be reunited, but if Jared Burks is going to be home to see his son take his first steps, they say it will take everyone’s help.
“The more we stay home, the less likely we are to spread it and the less likely they are to be affected by it, as well,” Alyssa Burks said.
Unfortunately, the Burks faced more difficulties Saturday when a tornado swept through the state. Their house was destroyed, according to a Facebook post by Alyssa Burks, but all members of the family are safe.
Copyright 2020 KATV, Alyssa Burks via CNN. All rights reserved.