From budding daffodils to a blanket of snow: a window into my abrupt journey from South Carolina to Alaska during the coronavirus pandemic.
These are extraordinary times.
When our students in the University of South Carolina’s Senior Semester capstone program left for a much-needed spring break, they expected to return to the newsroom energized for the final six weeks of daily reporting.
We anticipated the usual routine – caffeinated morning meetings, deadline madness, job interviews, graduation portraits on the university’s historic Horseshoe. The march of the coronavirus has irrevocably altered that experience. Now our students are scattered, back to their families or to college apartments, to lives upended by the pandemic.
But they are still reporting. From their bedrooms and living rooms, they are anchoring daily newscasts, writing compelling stories, covering news conferences, interviewing community leaders, taping sports and weather. We meet on Zoom instead of across the newsroom, but even in virtual space their resilience is amazing. They have taken to heart their role as journalists in a democracy.
They know this is a historic time – and perhaps no better time to be a journalist.
--Carolyn Click, Senior Semester instructor
NAVIGATING LIFE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
As the country battles with the new challenges brought by COVID-19, I am also learning how to deal with personal struggles.
I’m back home in Charlotte self-isolating with a rambunctious toddler.
I finally understand why movies are made about people going insane as a result of isolation.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, life at home on my family’s farm remains basically the same.
By day, I’m reporting from my family coffee table. At night, I don a mask and gloves to clean a doctor’s office.
My mom worries about getting sick. My brother hates his online classes. My sister frets about moving home. And my dad started a new job at our kitchen table.
Back in my small South Carolina town, I’m taking out my camera to record what this new, quiet life is like.
While my parents deal with issues at home, I am 180 miles away self-quarantining after spring break, only able to communicate via phone.
With graduation, a wedding and a first job all up in the air and at risk of being postponed or cancelled, life is full of uncertainty in a time of pandemic.
I used to love my couch at the end of the day in a busy college newsroom. Now I’m starting to long for that room full of over-caffeinated journalists.
I’m propped up on my pillow reporting from my bedroom just at the moment I should be polishing my portfolio and heading out for job interviews.