The Lemmons started preparing in early April.

April cut her husband Adam's hair. He took off his wedding ring and cut his fingernails down, both to decrease his chance of infection and make handwashing more successful as he worked as an anesthesiologist with IU Health.

On April 3, Adam Lemmon learned his job was shifting. Two days later, he would start working solely with COVID-19 positive patients. 

That night he came home. Not to his family. To an RV.

The next night and the next night, he did the same. For 13 nights, he stayed in that RV. 

'I needed to protect my family from me'

The idea was born on the long walks he and his wife would take through their McCordsville neighborhood, filled with sobering talks. Finances, living wills, end of life preferences, their four young children, not being able to be bedside holding hands should one of them get sick.

And the inevitable: the day Lemmon would come into contact with a COVID-19 patient.

"I needed to protect my family from me," he said. "If there was going to be a vector, it was going to be me."

April Lemmon put a call out on March 27 to social media for an empty house, apartment or in-laws quarters that Lemmon might borrow should he need it.

Within minutes, dear friends had answered. The next day, those friends were parking their cream, tan and chocolate off to the side of the Lemmons' home.

A week later, the RV became his home. 

The days that would follow were a blur. Get up early, go to work, come home late, sleep, see the kids through the window and wake up to do it all over again.

Some nights Lemmon was lucky, home early enough that he would get a plate of food on the back porch, "like the family pet," as April says. He would sit there and eat, his children would sit at the window and look at him. 

He would mouth goodnights, blow kisses and give air hugs and walk away, vanish into the camper and go to bed. He would lay his head on the pillow and think about another day filled with intubations, placing lines into patients' veins and arteries, monitoring vital signs and delivering medicine.

He would hear the pine cones thumping on the side of the RV as they got caught up in the wind. A sporadic rhythm performed by nature.

It was all so very strange, inside this RV. But it was also a haven.

"It was the safest thing to do," Lemmon said. "And in the grand scheme of life, this is a blip. It will pass."

AdamLemmon_s(Adam Lemmon stands next to the camper he lived in for nearly two weeks. Credit: Lemmon family)

A national RV movement

RVs are isolation units by their nature — in more joyful times, the way people travel the country with their own private home on wheels.

Under the umbrella of RVs are motorhomes, camper vans, travel trailers, camper trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers and truck campers.

"The whole idea is they are self isolating," said Monika Geraci, marketing strategy and operations with the RV Industry Association. "That's what they're built for."

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, so did the realization of just how these units could be used.

Among the first to take off was the Facebook group RVs4MDs, a way to connect medical workers with RV owners. Today it has 29,000 members.

Under the umbrella of RVs are motorhomes, camper vans, travel trailers, camper trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers and truck campers.

"The whole idea is they are self isolating," said Monika Geraci, marketing strategy and operations with the RV Industry Association. "That's what they're built for."

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, so did the realization of just how these units could be used.

Among the first to take off was the Facebook group RVs4MDs, a way to connect medical workers with RV owners. Today it has 29,000 members.

'Goodwill overpowered us'

The Winchesters' Fleetwood Expedition 38V — with satellite TV, luxurious kitchen (for an RV), refrigerator, washer-dryer, all the bells and whistles — was just sitting there. With stay-at-home orders in place, the New Castle family had canceled their trips and the RV was stationed in a port, empty.

Brian Winchester had heard about the need, the relief a home on wheels could provide to frontline workers. 

Check out the full article from the IndyStar here.