My Story: A journalist’s perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unusual, unexpected and an eye-opening experience. It escalated very quickly, and completely out of the blue. 

Neither I nor anyone else was aware of the magnitude of pandemic during its initial stages. The weeks following, with COVID-19 cases and deaths rising, really put things into perspective. It then became quite apparent that the virus was no ordinary one, and one that will be one of the most life-changing events in history.

The pandemic has affected and interfered with the simplicity of school that I was used to. It has been a challenge for me to fulfill assignments without the much needed and desired face-to-face interaction. The human interaction allowed me to meet new people throughout the university and really gain a better understanding and perspective of the topic at hand. 

I do not feel the online connection is as strong with faculty and classmates. Being able to see reactions from interviewees and their body language undoubtedly helped me understand how they felt about a certain subject. Also, the tone of the person’s voice and facial expressions assisted tremendously in interpreting a person’s feelings.

To add, the emails that took the place of face-to-face interaction were not nearly as personal. An email can be misinterpreted, misunderstood or misread. I feel that having face-to-face communication lowers the risk of miscommunication and demonstrates more of the person’s character and interest regarding the topic. 

While conducting face-to-face interviews, I was able to build better relationships and get to know people on a deeper level. Introducing myself, shaking their hand, being offered a seat in their office to sit down for the interview or accepting a snack were just a few ways that the interviewee and I were able to get better acquainted and share common ground..

Moreover, having to wait on responses from emails and trying to email the correct people to complete some of my assignments also posed a great challenge.  I do appreciate the fact there were faculty willing to continually support and provide feedback for timely and proper completion of my assignments. 

I am so grateful for the face-to-face that I was able to experience, and thankful for the ability to complete the class online as an alternative. The pandemic has impacted so many people’s lives, not for us just in school of course, but for billions of people globally. 

The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 will remain a memory for years to come.