One ER doctor roughs it in treehouse to keep his family safe

Posted at 8:49 PM, Apr 10, 2020

Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices for those you love. That’s exactly what one local doctor is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jason Barnes, who works in the emergency room at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital, is quarantining himself in a unique way: in the family’s backyard. He recently shared a video to YouTube about why he’s doing it.

“I’ve actually treated patients positive with the virus, and ya know, trying to think about bringing that home, it’s scary for us,” Barnes said.

He recently transformed his children’s treehouse into his temporary home. He and his wife, Jenna, considered buying an RV; staying with a friend; or in a hotel; but they decided staying in the treehouse would be his best bet.

"At first it was kind of comical," said Jenna Barnes. "Like 'Oh you can just live in the treehouse?' And the more I thought about it, I was like ‘Oh, that could work.' "

The treehouse has just about everything you need including a bed, water and food, a bathroom and even air conditioning. Barnes has been sleeping in it for more than a week.

“It takes a little bit of getting used to sleeping on a bed made out of cedar wood,” Jason said.

The setup may not be ideal, but for now, Jason said it’s all about being close to home and his family.

“I can stay here and see my family everyday," he said. "That’s really why I go to work everyday -- so I can provide for them. I think I have everything but the hugs, and picking-up-the-kids-when-they-scrape-their-knees.”

“We miss him terribly, being in the house," Jenna said. "Being able to hug him and be with him daily."

But for the family, the treehouse quarantine is worth it.

“Quarantine is serious,” Jason said. “But it’s the only way we’re going to beat this thing.”

“It is serious, and we’re doing it for a reason,” Jenna reiterated. “Isolating yourself is so important right now, and it’s the only way we’re going to get through this.”