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Covering the coronavirus crisis from my home

Posted: 9:54 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 23:02:25-04
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Never, ever in my 40 years of covering news, would I imagine reporting the biggest story of my career from inside my home. My first instinct is to rush out the door to chase a big story. I always want to be on the scene, talking with people and covering news events in real-time, whether they are tragic or triumphant.

All that changed on March 25th when I anchored TMJ4 News at 6 p.m. from my kitchen table. The coronavirus crisis was now a new normal for me.

For the previous week and a half, the newsroom had transitioned to fewer and fewer people in the building. Our team leaders and managers worked around the clock to set up reporters, photographers and producers to work at home or in the field. The technical tools are all there to pull it off, but I was impressed with how quickly it came together.

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The decision to go live from my home was made around noon. Within hours, I downloaded a video conferencing app with lots of help from our tech team. My wife scrambled to set up lighting (small portable LED work light) as we created a mini TV studio in our kitchen.

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When the news started, I felt right at home. Shannon Sims was in the studio, and I was reporting from home. We didn't miss a beat. Sure, it looked different, but everything is different these days with social distancing and finding smarter, safer ways to work.

My scramble in no way compares to health care workers, grocery store employees, law enforcement, and many others scrambling to do their jobs. I can't even imagine the difficult challenges they are facing.,

Be safe, and stay strong.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Confirmed cases: 1,268 (as of Monday afternoon)

Deaths: 20

Negative tests: 15,856

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Hotline: Call (414) 286-6800 (M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.)

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