What it is like being a journalist in the middle of a pandemic

It is safe to say the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do things in life, from the way we work to the way we socialise.

Being a journalist is no exception. A normal week would see a press conference or two, followed by a game. Afterwards, there is a press conference in the warmth of the stadium.

However, the pandemic has meant some changes to the way we have to go about our business.

We do the majority of our work from home anyway, but now even the conferences are done from home via Zoom.

For me, this is a positive as anyone can take part, there is no limitations because of travel, etc. So long as you do not have another conference at the same time that is.

Every club is different in terms of how they arrange the conference. All have an order, for some it is a rigid order where it goes from person to person, or for others it is by the medium, so newspapers, radio and online for example.

Moving to game day itself, the day starts early, as you have to fill in a Health Questionnaire prior attending the game.

It is easy enough to fill out, just a list of symptoms and asking if you have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19.

If you click yes on any of the questions, you are not allowed to attend the venue and you must get advice from your doctor about coronavirus.

Arriving at the ground, you must wear a mask at all times whilst you are indoors. Upon your arrival, you then have your temperature checked. So long as it is below a certain number, you are good to go.

The match then happens as normal, you report on everything as normal. The only thing that is different is the social distancing that takes place in the ground.

After the game, you then stay in your seat for the post match press conferences. Again, this is open to members of the media who are both in the stadium and away from the ground.

You also have one hour from when the match has finished to clear the stadium.

This was just on a normal matchday. Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final was even more intense.

As well as the Health Questionnaire and temperature checks, you also had your heart rate and breathing monitored. Which may have made mine slughtly higher because of the nerves I had from being at Wembley for the first time!

Thankfully, it all came back OK, and I was able to enjoy the final from the Wembley press box.

However, it is not all smooth sailing.

With working so often on the internet, there can be things like WiFi problems. This was an issue in a press conference recently.

It really was not worth asking a question, as you were not going to get the answer with the way the connection was.

Another problem can come with codes. Anyone who has used Zoom will understand for every meeting, you need a unique code.

On one occasion, the code I was sent was wrong, meaning I missed out on the conference. However, this was easily rectified after being sent the video.

All in all, it is a strange world we are living in. Until we get a vaccine, we will have to do our best with what we have.

What doesn’t change is the commitment to reporting all the latest news when we get it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: