As a freelance journalist who has always worked remotely, I have found my daily schedule relatively unchanged since the outbreak of COVID-19. I awake, have my coffee and head directly to my computer to start working on my ongoing stories. The only difference is that I’m sorely missing my regular workouts at my local YMCA; instead I’m trying out online yoga and dance classes. But I’m finding I have less time for that, since I’m busier than ever. Editors have been reaching out regularly to assign me stories related to the epidemic. When my New York Times editor suggested a story on the unique challenges that caregivers of those with dementia face with the outbreak, I thought it was a great idea. And it gave me the chance to explore the ways that these unsung heroes are proceeding. Sometimes as a journalist, you’re able to cross paths with someone who inspires you. That was the case for me. I interviewed K.C. Mehta, who has been caring for his wife for seven years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she was 59. Mehta’s greatest concern is taking care of her and he’s trying his best to keep them both safe. Listening to him discuss the complexities of caring for her even under normal circumstances, all without complaint, demonstrated the strength of the many who are silently just trying to persevere. I was so pleased to be able to share Mehta’s story in this article. It provided a glimmer of positivity amidst a climate of despair. And it reinforced the reasons why I so treasure being a freelance journalist.
3 replies on “Finding the Humanity Amidst COVID-19”
What a beautiful article, Ms. Halpert! I took care of my mother with Alzheimer’s at home for 15 years for precisely the same reasons as Mr. Mehta. Could you please tell him that there’s an incredible diaper called Abena L4 (plastic based, not the “Premium” version) that can last for 10 hours so that he doesn’t need to wake up twice in the night? Please feel free to give him my email because I have tips on bedsores, too, if/when that becomes an issue. I will comment on NY Times site to advocate for more of your articles on caregiving. You write with such clear insight – thank you.
I will do that! Thanks for passing on that information. And I appreciate you advocating for more articles on caregiving on the New York Times site. You’re not the first person to mention this and I suggested it to my editor as well.
Thank you so much for this post!
If you are interested in doing a story on #loveisnottourism I am happy to share.
My fiancé and I met each other in an online meditation group in 2016. We grew close, decided to met in person and, by our second visit in 2017, were committed to each other. In 2018 we decided to marry but due to family obligations in both countries we knew we needed to pass through borders easily. Under the advice of immigration lawyers, we chose to postpone marriage until we could both stay put in the US for up to 6 months. However difficult, we have been nurturing our transatlantic relationship in creative and meaningful ways. Yet with the onset of travel bans, our personal pain has increased and we want to marry as soon as possible.
Our greatest hope is that a collective awareness about global relations can deepen through this pandemic and unite us as a human family. We have joined the #loveisnottourism campaign and are thrilled by its exponential growth and the progress being made each day for the sake of love. Amazing!
Wishing you well!