How one doctor’s family is navigating COVID-19.

Roberto Vargas, Xavier Vargas, and Susan Vargas

“We had to stay far away, but I just felt better that you could be, like, a part of us.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Director of Microbiology Dr. Roberto Vargas worked long hours running tests at a hospital in Rochester, New York.

Because of the risk of exposure, he made the difficult decision to isolate himself from his wife, Susan, and their four young kids. At the time of this conversation, he was living in the basement of their home.

Dr. Vargas spoke virtually with his wife Susan and their 10-year-old son Xavier about the toll that this setup has taken on them, and the ways they have come together as a family despite the distance.

Presented as part of the all-new StoryCorps animation season “What Matters,” featuring a collection of stories and reflections on the people and moments that ground us in the best — and the worst — of times.

Listen to Roberto, Xavier, and Susan’s original StoryCorps interview.

Para subtítulos en español, haga click en el ícono de YouTube en la esquina derecha, y escoja “Spanish” bajo la opción de “settings” y “subtitles/CC.