Reporting the pandemic
Covid-19 has radically changed every aspect of life. And it all happened with startling speed.
It felt like just weeks between first hearing discussions about a virus, and the Chinese city of Wuhan, before there were rolling shutdowns and lockdowns around the world.
And since then, what began as a health pandemic has also become an economic crisis – as the world has all but shut down in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.
As I write this in the third week of September 2020 there are still very strict restrictions in place in Melbourne and Victoria – and getting into many states in Australia is difficult – depending on where you live. Our way of life was radically turned on its head – and shifted dramatically as we all adapted to our ‘new normal’. As of today, there have been 859 deaths from Covid-19, across Australia. Every death a devastation. With flow-on effects to their family, their friends, and the communities they are a part of.
And for those switching on Canberra’s weeknight 7pm ABC News, I’ve been the one updating them about the horrible deaths, the number of positive tests, the restrictions, and the human faces and experiences of each.
As we have grappled with new concepts of ‘physical distancing’, being ‘1.5m from every one’, and greater hand washing and always having a supply of hand sanitiser, I have felt the weight of my job, of keeping people up-to-date and well informed and helping to make sense of the changing situation.
But I’ve also been the one to update Canberrans when things go well and there are positive developments on how we respond to Covid-19.
One of my favourite stories was about Canberra’s final-year students being able to mark the end of their schooling with graduation ceremonies and formals – so long as they are Covid-safe (another new term of 2020).
While this was quite a focused story, it was a celebration and about a development that made me smile, and I’m sure made many happy that authorities saw the situation getting to this point, where these kind of events could be staged, safely.
I look forward to telling more of these stories of optimism and our ‘new normal’ as I, like you, hope to see things getting better and better.