Jeff Schnaufer | First 5 LA Writer/Editor

Jacqueline Cortez-Paz is a stay-at-home mom of two teenagers and a 2-year-old girl, Daisy. Her husband, Ricardo, lost hours at work as a welder because of the pandemic. They live in South Los Angeles. She explains here why continued televisits with Perla, her home visitor from Shields for Families, are important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. How have televisits with Perla helped you?

A. Its been good to talk to her about the situation. Before, when she used to come to the house and teach me how to play with Daisy, I felt that I had help. Even though we are on Zoom now, it still helps to talk and learn from the advice she gives me.

Q. What would life be like if you had no connection with Perla?

A. I would miss her and the advice I would get. As a parent, its helpful for someone else to give you input. I think, Oh, I havent tried that.”

Q. What are you concerned about most on a day-to-day basis?

A. One of my biggest fears is if one us gets sick. If one of us gets sick, all of us get sick. Losing one of us is my biggest fear. With COVID-19, we try to stay inside as much as we can. If we do go out, we wear our masks. Im missing family too. Birthdays have come and gone and we cant get together. Im a very social person. You lose yourself because you cant be close to people and thats what you need to keep going.

I was going through treatment for depression and anxiety even before COVID-19. So this is like a trigger. But I feel good that I have these resources. I would not have been able to get through this without my medication and therapist, as well as Perla and Jessica (caseworker).