As a journalist, I always want to be there for the big stories. I want to be able to help guide you through the good and the bad. It’s an urge that is deep within many of us in the news industry. It’s why we’re here.
The coronavirus is a huge, and very important story. There is information you must know and I so desperately want to be a part of sharing that information with you, but there’s a problem. I am immunocompromised.
The medication I take to treat my Multiple Sclerosis kills my B cells. Oddly enough, that’s a GOOD thing for my MS. It helps to prevent my body from attacking my nervous system. Those attacks can cause flare ups and progression of the disease. HOWEVER, it does put me in the category you’ve heard a lot about lately: compromised immune system.
Because of this, my managers at WAVY made the decision to keep me at home for at least a week. They have been working hard to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our newsroom. We have received several emails detailing new safety measures for our news, production, engineering, and sales staff.
However, if you have ever seen us on the air, you will see that our anchors sit fairly close together. It’s hard to “social distance” when we have to sit/stand so close. That also played a role in WAVY management’s decision to keep me home.
Last week, Lex Gray (who normally stands next to me during the newscasts) intentionally stood on the other side of the anchor desk as a precaution. We have all been sanitizing our equipment, chairs and desks a lot. However, in this case, the best thing for some of us is to just stay home.
I have to admit, it’s a bit frustrating. I have made peace with having MS, but in a situation like this, it reminds me that MS does still impact my life quite a bit.
I am well aware that there are people out there whose immune systems are even more compromised than mine. I pray that they are also able to stay home and stay healthy, well…healthy by the standards of those of us who have chronic illness.
I am so thankful to work for a management team that gets it. My GM, news director, and assistant news director made the decision on their own to keep me home. My news director and assistant news director both asked how I was feeling about the decision and we had a good conversation.
Bright spot: We DID come up with a plan for me to Skype from home into our morning newscasts! So, you will still hear from me (although my 6-year-old may end up accidentally wandering into my shot with bed head and awesome jammies). Hey! It’s real life we’re dealing with here, right?!
Over these next few weeks/months, please make good decisions. Understand that while YOU may be healthy and will survive coronavirus, there are others out there who are more vulnerable. YOUR decisions could impact THEIR lives and the lives of their families. This is temporary. Let’s do the best we can to slow the spread of this disease.
I will chat with you on social media as we so often do. I will be back to the anchor desk whenever we find the best and safest way to make that happen. In the meantime, I will be home with my first grader working on some schoolwork with him…and by “work on schoolwork” I mean HE will teach ME how he uses several computer programs I have never heard of.