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How COVID-19 has changed our everyday lives

By Admin User on April 9, 2020

NAIT NewsWatch had it’s last show of the semester on March 13, 2020, because shortly after our newscast the Province announced that classes would be suspended indefinitely. Since then, a lot has changed about our daily lives, including business closures and social distancing measures becoming mandatory. The movies tend to say a lot about viral pandemics, but our real world is increasingly looking like a Hollywood film about quarantines.

First classes were cancelled, and then large public gatherings of over 250 people were banned, and then that number grew smaller. Finally, social distancing became mandatory, and public parks and playgrounds were closed. Most recently all non-essential businesses were closed as well, and gatherings needed to be limited to 15 people or less.

It’s enough to make you wonder if any of this is even real, but of course it is real. We are told that we can go outside, if we aren’t self-isolating and if we maintain social distancing. Going for a jog turns into a game of crossing the street if someone else is on the sidewalk. I went out today for the first time in two weeks, and although I tried to maintain a safe distance from other people, the reverse was not true. It almost seems that people did not care about keeping their distance, which makes the recently introduced fines seem all the more necessary.

I was supposed to be the Entertainment Host for the next NAIT NewsWatch show that I was on. I had all these fears about how to do entertainment stories, since my specialty is in politics. Before that, I had only been a News Anchor and a Producer, both were jobs I felt comfortable in. However, I appreciate a challenge and I wasn’t going to shy away. By the time that show week came around, classes had been cancelled and our program had already adapted without NAIT NewsWatch. I pitched my stories, as per the new limited requirements, and one of the stories I had pitched involved a local dance party that was still being held in the midst of all of this. Since last week, that event had been postponed, and it took a government ban on large gatherings with the promise of heavy fines in order to do it.

It felt like the government could pass legislation and it wouldn’t really change our lives, before all of this. For the most part, new legislation did not really change anything for everybody all at once. If something happened in another part of the world, it was too easy to get caught up in it on social media. Yet, all you needed to do was to put your phone down and go outside for a walk, and you’d find the real world right there. This time, it’s different, because the real world is the same world we see online. Nothing is open and people are afraid to go near each other (or very well should be).

I’ve been in self-isolation for the past two weeks, and this happened at the height of my third semester. I was laser focused on NAIT NewsWatch, and I must admit, it gave me a lot to do with my spare time. When people asked me what I enjoyed doing, I would tell them I enjoyed doing television news. Self-isolating made me realize those things more than ever, not only because I was seeing other journalists on social media out and about covering this major story, but because I couldn’t do anything else.

So, for today, I got to be a journalist again in documenting this tiny part of the outbreak through these photographs. It isn’t like television news, though, and I won’t be bringing these back to the station to ingest them onto the server. I don’t need to put together a VO/SOC or a news package with any footage I obtained. In fact, quite the opposite, I won’t be on set for the remainder of the semester because classes have been cancelled and we are not allowed back while the pandemic is ongoing. I guess this was my way of uncovering the truth, and my way of putting together a story about everything that happened. So, with that, I’m Vincent Papequash, NAIT NewsWatch.



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