Reporting on the coronavirus pandemic is crucial as well as dangerous. Journalists have been out on the field, in the middle of the pandemic, delivering reports with a risk. While the job of a journalist is to remain neutral and simply report, at the end of the day, they are human beings and subject to every emotion on the spectrum. One journalist covering the coronavirus pandemic for American news channel CNN broke down live on air as she reported the horrors she had witnessed during the period.
The coronavirus pandemic has made us face some harsh realities of life for which no one was prepared. We have seen deaths and lives become statistics on television screens as people debate political agendas. While those of us sitting at home can feel horrified at the numbers we see on screen or read on our phones, it is deathly horrific for those who see the faces behind those numbers. The healthcare staff, the reporters, the janitors and support staff – they are watching precious lives being lost due to the pandemic every day.
CNN reporter Sara Sidner had enough of the same when she was reporting on a family grieving the loss of a mother and stepfather due to Covid-19 on January 12. Live from Los Angeles, she couldn’t control her emotions. She told the anchor, Alisyn Camerota, and viewers how this was the tenth hospital visit for her that day and then, she broke down. She apologised profusely as she tried to hold back her tries and stifle a sob. The news report was focused on how the virus-related impact was “disproportionately” hitting the communities of colour.
She said they are the ones who are ending up taking the brunt of this, adding many of these people are those on who the population relies upon for their daily lives. Her sobs increase for a while. She made multiple apologies to her anchor.
The host of the show assured her that an apology was not needed. “We’ve been watching your reporting on the ground throughout this horrific year,” she mentions the “collective grief” of the nation as they all watch these struggling families.
The clip has gone viral on social media and people have applauded Sara for humanizing the reportage.
And this is a woman who has literally dodged bullets in war zones. Nothing but respect for Sara Sidner
— Christopher Proud Dem (@cwebbonline) January 12, 2021
I’ve watched Sara dodge gunfire and report from violent revolutions, hit by a shell fragment in 2011, hit by bottles, rocks. I’ve never seen her cry. This breaks my heart. pic.twitter.com/N5aLJRIIN1
— BevMarie (@evenbev) January 12, 2021
She sees it first hand. We need more reporting that shows the packed hospital wards, the damaged bodies, the overflowing morgues. The press needs to ruthlessly show Americans the reality of the pandemic.(We can find a way to respect privacy in the process.)
— Andy O (@Andy_Olsen) January 12, 2021
This reporter @sarasidnerCNN just *sobs* on stage and it’s honestly the best representation of our collective trauma that I’ve seen on tv.
— Stella Safo, MD MPH (@AmmahStarr) January 12, 2021
This is our collective exhaustion, weariness, heartbreak & frustration. @sarasidnerCNN is all of us.
— Monica Babiuk (@Monica_Babiuk) January 12, 2021
I’m crying with her. People don’t realize that being so up front and center can take a toll on even the strongest people. So much love to her. So much love to these people she is speaking of. We must be better for each other.
— Brie Biden/Harris 2020 (@trumpersscareme) January 12, 2021
Super appreciate the teamwork here, how the anchor picked up the ball to allow the reporter to collect herself and they finished the report strong together. Reporting on the pandemic takes a toll on everyone and we would do well to remember that.
— Patricia Gillett (@PattieGillett) January 12, 2021
I was in tears myself. She has been one of the few reporting from directly inside hospitals for months now. It’s seems like a never ending battle and she warriors on.
— Maireks (@Maireks1) January 12, 2021
Earlier, Sara had reported on funerals taking place in parking lots to which the anchor echoed the visual was a collective trauma for all of them. Sara then added a message to please listen to these families and how everyone needs to do everything can to prevent this from happening.