MONTREAL -- Life is a little busier these days for Dr. Donald Vinh.

As an infectious disease specialist at the MUHC, he’s spent the past 15 months working with his team to better understand COVID-19.

“It’s one of those things where you train for it and you know the theory, but you’ve had little practice,” he said.

Despite long days of research and meetings, outside of the lab Vinh is equally as busy, taking care of four children and a 150 lb Saint Berdoodle named Leo.

“We are a large family. There’s six people and one large dog,” Vinh said. “I have to be fully cognizant of the fact that none of this work or life success could have actually been achieved without my wife.”

It’s a team effort to carve out family time.

“There are times when we’re not able to spend time together because I’ve got work obligations or they’ve got their school commitments,” he said. “My two oldest ones are adolescents so now they’ve got social commitments, but we try to make sure every day is some sort of family day.”

Vinh also manages time for media interviews, which he sees as an opportunity to better inform the public on the pandemic.

“I think if we can educate the public, but more importantly communicate in consistent and clear way to the public then I think the public will appreciate and understand that and then they’ll understand ‘Ah, okay, that’s why we need to do this.’”

Despite his many responsibilities in the lab, like so many dads, it’s fatherhood that comes first.

“Unfortunately, I lost my father when I was in medical school so I already knew at a very young age what it was like to not have both my parents around,” Vinh said. “But it instilled in me that we want to be absolutely sure that we give our children the best opportunities possible.”