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Roanoke family hopes to spread awareness about COVID-19 isolation

The Norton family is hoping their experience will educate others

Pandemic difficulties for children with disabilities
Pandemic difficulties for children with disabilities

ROANOKE, Va. – For families who have children with disabilities, COVID-19 has created a new level of isolation like never before.

Quarantine is not an entirely new concept for the Norton family.

“We get it, like more than - more than most, that like, isolation and quarantine is difficult, you know, we’ve spent all but maybe a few months of the past three years, in quarantine,” Parent Brooke Norton said.

Their son, Evan, is one of only a handful of people in the world who has been diagnosed with his specific genetic disorder.

Like everyone else, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused new scary and stressful challenges for their family. Even as more and more people get their COVID-19 vaccine, the Norton’s plan on continuing their quarantine despite things reopening.

The only thing the family really leaves the house for are appointments at Carilion Children’s.

“Hearing the phrase ‘only the vulnerable’ repeatedly throughout, you know it’s just reinforcing that like ableist mindset that those with disabilities are less than, and their lives aren’t as worthy,” Norton said.

They hope some of the changes made during the pandemic stick around, and people have a new sense of empathy toward those in unique situations.

“Now that the general public has gotten a glimpse of what that life looks like that there can be a little more empathy and a little more compassion, and then action from that,” Norton said.

Brooke shares updates and tips for families on how to handle isolation on her website, you can view it here.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.