When I flew back home to Connecticut a month ago, I wasn’t afraid of the virus. I am young, I believe I have a good immune system, and I usually bounce back from sickness with ease. I had no idea the extent to which this virus would infiltrate this world and certainly no idea how it would feel to be hit right in my own home.
My family members and I started to experience symptoms about a week after we all arrived at my childhood home. We later found out that two people who came to the house that first week to do maintenance work tested positive days later and “forgot” to mention it. While dealing with the resulting chaos, I was also struck with the reintroduction to my schoolwork after what should have been our “spring break” was over. I struggled with production the most.
Home is my place of leisure, comfort and time off. It’s been that way since I graduated high school five years ago. Now being asked to do more than 12 hours of work every Thursday seems like a daunting task for someone who has seemingly morphed back into her teen familial roles.
But then I started to realize we are all in the same boat. This has hit home for everyone; the undergraduates, my fellow graduate students and professors alike. We are all at home, suffering from a lack of motivation, constantly staring at our refrigerators wondering if in the face of an unprecedented crisis, it’s now acceptable to have six full meals a day.
I figured this would have an impact on our show. Our See It Live shows have been a huge source of pride for me this semester, feeling like I was a part of something bigger than my individual projects. I had no idea what that would look like anymore.
I was incredibly surprised by the ambition my team members still had. And when I say team members, I mean everyone involved. People showed up and even worked way later than their assigned shifts. We were all working together, despite the circumstances, to try to produce the best show possible. We had reporters taking incredible initiative and knocking out assignments only to come back to us asking what else they can do. And Sebastian, a media center staff member who, I promise, knows everything, was on a Zoom call with me trying to figure out why our show wasn’t uploading to Youtube, the Xchange server or even the Google drive until 12:30 a.m. eastern time.
At first, it’s easy to feel like unexpected circumstances will tear down something you fought hard to create. It’s even easier to let that get to you and cause more damage. But in times like these, it’s important to fight for what matters in your life, no matter how small. For us, it’s this show. Sharing people’s stories, seeking out important information from the ones who know it best, and preparing it in a solid, interesting package is what we do. Even COVID-19 isn’t going to stop us from doing that.
So when in doubt, close that refrigerator door, get on that Zoom call with your own team and create something you can be proud of.