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Isabella Texeira’s college experience at Clark University didn’t end the way she expected thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
But not long after her campus closed down, the 22-year-old biology grad found a way to stay busy — thanks to a tip from her dad.
"He actually mentioned to me how they were looking for like temporary positions in helping clinics and hospitals and desensitizing rooms in order to prevent the spread of COVID," she said. "And the moment he said that to me, I was like, 'Daddy, you don't even need to tell me where this is. I'm going. I'm there.' "
Texeira has been working as a cleaner in a Somerville COVID-19 clinic ever since.
"Mom wasn't happy about it at first, but she's fine," she added with a laugh.
Like many others who hold jobs related to the pandemic, maintaining the safety of the families at home is top-of-mind for Texeira and the small team of people she works with every day. As she goes through her rigorous daily routine of keeping both her clinic and herself clean, she said she has an even greater appreciation of front line workers everywhere.
"It's just important to be appreciative of everyone that's working right now, regardless if it's health care or not," she said. "We often take for granted someone that cleans — my mom's a house cleaner, my dad's worked for cleaning businesses. So it's not always that your work gets appreciated. If you see someone out and they are wearing scrubs, just say thank you."
Listen to the audio attached to this post to hear Texeira discuss her role in the pandemic, in her own words. This audio dispatch was produced by WBUR's Khari Thompson, George Hicks and Tania Ralli.
This segment aired on June 15, 2020.
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