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The story behind a viral photo of an Arkansas doctor and his son

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While one-year-old Zeke Burks is learning to crawl, his dad, resident physician Dr. Jared Burks, is learning how to fight a global pandemic. (Photo: Alyssa Burks){ }

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – A Northeast Arkansas mom's photo shows her son and husband separated by a glass door—a reminder to many about the sacrifices healthcare workers are making while on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. It has gone viral.

But the story behind the photo is even more powerful.

While one-year-old Zeke Burks is learning to crawl, his dad, Resident Physician Dr. Jared Burks, is learning how to fight a global pandemic—away from his family.

"He is working right now in a rotation that has him all over the hospital, including the ER, and he just felt like it would be responsible for us to quarantine from each other," his wife, Alyssa Burks, said.

Alyssa shared the photo of her husband and son on her Facebook page. She said they're counting their blessings and asking others to do the same.

The photo quickly went viral, with many thanking the Burks and all medical families.

"I've had a lot of people that have commented and said thank you for the sacrifice your husband is making and all of the other medical staff that are working alongside him," Alyssa said, "But also the families they have that are at home, and some of us are not living in the same house right now."

The story the photo doesn't tell is that this doctor has been away from his family for more than two weeks, and through that glass he was seeing his son crawl for the first time.

"As soon as he saw his dad he just raced to the door," Alyssa said. "He got up on the glass because I think he wanted him to hold him, so it was sad, it was cute, but it was really heartbreaking because it's hard."

The Burks, and many other medical families, don't know when they'll be reunited. But they do know that if Jared is going to be home to see his son take his first steps, it's going to take everyone's help.

"The more we stay home, the less likely we are to spread it and the less likely they are to be affected by it as well," Alyssa said. "And we need them."

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