Working during COVID-19 vs staying at home

COVID-19 has effected everyone around the world one way or another. Many people are stuck at home quarantined with little to do in terms of entertainment. For some people, they were able to keep working because the business they are working at was deemed an essential service by the government.

“It’s nice to be able to get up and go to work.”

Some business that have been deemed essential services are Retail, Construction, Agricultural and Horticultural. “It’s nice to be able to get up and go to work, and there isn’t a lot of people out on the road. So, its a little bit more quiet than usually, its a nicer pace.” Said Kim Zaharia a Receptionist at CBI Manufacturing when asked what is it like working during a pandemic.

CBI Manufacturing as put in a plexiglass shield around the reception desk and making sure that staff cleanup and use disinfectant as often as they can.

Kim also says that the easiest park about working during a pandemic is being able to have that routine in the morning and being able to stay busy.

“The job I was on has been postponed for now.”

Most people have been laid off or fired because of COVID-19 and have been financially impacted by this pandemic and don’t know when it will end. “The job I was on, has been postponed for now. There will be a time, when we will return to work on that job. everyday that goes by without making any money is one less day to make money.” Said Quentin Zaharia a contractor when asked how this pandemic has impacted him.

People have been starting to find ways to keep themselves busy like finding a new hobby or learning a new skill., and have been able to make the time go by easier.

By: Declan Zaharia

Will the music industry survive the coronavirus?

Nevik working in the New West Entertainment studio

The music industry is being dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, from live events being cancelled to recording studios having to close their doors. Local music producers and artists in Calgary have had to find loopholes around self isolation in order to keep their businesses running.

“…I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.”

Luke Lucasvodopija, otherwise know as Nevik, is a producer, DJ, and Rapper working out of the New West Entertainment studio in Calgary. Although he is keeping a positive mindset, Nevik has faced a lot of hardships because of the pandemic. He was booked to DJ many concerts and live events this year saying “Recess was a show that was run by YYC Records and a bunch of local artists were showcasing their talent on it and I DJ’d for it last time, I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.” Nevik had to leave the New West Entertainment studio and find a way to create music from home. Producers and DJ’s don’t just get their income from concerts and working with clients, they also gain a profit from selling their own merchandise. Nevik has found an easy way to continue selling his merchandise in Calgary despite the difficulties around social distancing “If somebody wants to reserve some merch for me to drop off whenever they’re able to or if somebody wants me to just deliver to their door step and just like walk to the end of their street and be like e-transfer.”

“There’s more at stake than just money at this point.”

Although for others, money isn’t the most important thing to be focused on right now. Rapper, Producer, and Owner of the New West Entertainment studios Adam Massiah says “keeping the business running, honestly we’re able to do what we were doing before but at the same point and time money isn’t everything. There’s more at stake than just money at this point.” Massiah’s mother is in the high risk category for contracting the virus as she recently had an operation on her lungs and the majority of Massiah’s time is spent taking care of her. Although he has a lot on his plate, Massiah has taken advantage of self isolation saying he’s been able to “…make some solid music because I actually have time to sit down and settle with my thoughts.”

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of every industry, but the Calgary music community seem to be a very optimistic group as they continue to create new music at home and work around the difficulties of self isolation.

By Aela Herbert

High school milestones cancelled due to covid-19

“It was something that like you look forward to like, I don’t know, probably since junior high school.”

As the covid-19 pandemic prevents school classes, and move online, exams aren’t the only events being cancelled. High school seniors around the country are missing out on all the milestones that come with graduating high school. The class of 2020 graduates will not get to walk the stage, attend their graduation banquet in fancy gowns and tuxes, or even say goodbye to the people they spent 3 years with.

“I’m hoping that we’ll do something for those grade twelves once the isolation orders are lifted, but at this point in time, that’s a pretty significant milestone that these students aren’t getting to mark.”

Teens spend everyday for 3 or more years with the same class mates and teachers, working everyday with the purpose of graduating high school and going out into the real world. This hard work is supposed to be recognized and celebrated with the traditional cap and gown ceremony, and formal banquet.

Parents spend hundreds of dollars on dresses and suits. Many girls pick out their dresses months in advance, most grade 12’s have already purchased their attire and now have no dance to attend.

Luna Sinclair, a grade 12 student in Calgary said that the she and all of her friends had been waiting for graduation for years and stated how disappointed all of her class is, “It was something that like you look forward to like, I don’t know, probably since junior high school”.

“I won’t be able to see them except like during the summer of next year. So it’s off that way.” Luna said when talking about seeing her friends next year.

Grade 12 teachers understand the cancellation of events, but many believe that diploma exams are the least important milestone for graduating students.

Nicole Cameron, a high school humanities teacher in Calgary explained that in an emergency situation like the coronavirus pandemic, diploma exams hold no importance, but missing milestones like graduation will impact students for the rest of their lives. She hopes that after isolation orders are lifted, the school will be able to hold some sort of celebration of the 2020 class, but worries with so many kids leaving to post secondary, it won’t be possible.

The class of 2020 graduates will undoubtedly be prepared for a changing world of technology, after facing the complications of online learning, like no one else. But with the character and resilience these teens are learning, they are also missing out on such a universal experience. This class will not relate to so many other Canadians on what it feels like to walk the stage and shake hands with the principle, after years of homework and cramming for exams.

Sydney Chisholm

Coronavirus pandemic changing Canadian’s work lives in a big way

Social distancing is a new term brought to us by the COVID-19 pandemic. As many of us are trying to navigate a ‘new normal’ during these unprecedented times, we realize how creative and resilient people really are. Working from home is a new reality for many and employers are trying to make that work for different jobs.

We dont have face to face meetings anymore,

Patti Shirkey, Director of Medical Imaging Rural Saskatchewan had to make a lot of changes to her daily work schedule. A usual day would include traveling to one of her 68 imaging sites across the province, but now all her work is done from home. “We don’t have any face to face meetings anymore so all my work is now done by email, the phone or by Webex.” says Shirkey.

Working from home is not an option for many people, and employers have had to take new precautionary steps to keep essential workers safe and healthy.

Even our employees are now in different buildings

Charles Shirkey, Building Operator, has had to make significant changes to the usual day to day operations. Making sure cleaning is done more regularly and supplies are always heavily stocked. Shirkey explains how employees are being split up, “Even our employees are now in different buildings, all working kind of separately rather than as a team so we can stay healthy and safe.”

-Hayley Shirkey

COVID-19: Extendicare staff take all precautions to ensure safety

St. Paul Extendicare has been taking several precautions to ensure the safety of staff, residents and families.

Their new “at home routine” is set out for staff to help eliminate COVID-19 from entering Extendicare and staff homes. The at home routine involves staff showering, brushing their teeth, disinfecting their personal items and throwing out papers after they return home from work.

“…I believe if things change, we will have to adapt to those changes.”

Staff Development Coordinator, Shirley Chomlak says, “initially, this getting home protocol is put in place for staff safety as well as family safety and I believe if things change we will have to adapt to those changes. ” She realizes that they have to keep a close watch on this pandemic to prevent people in their workplace from getting this virus.

“It really makes me feel like I have a purpose.”

Care Aide, Kristina Kotowich comments, “I really enjoy working with the residents and helping them out…. It really makes me feel like I have a purpose.” Staff want to ensure the residents at Extendicare are still receiving good care during this pandemic and want to keep the most vulnerable people from this virus safe.

Masks have also been introduced into this long term care home. This facility is going through roughly 200 masks a day. All staff are expected to wear masks while in the building to ensure not only they stay safe, but the residents stay safe too. St. Paul Extendicare taught staff how to properly put on a mask and take it off to make sure germs do not pass onto anyone.

Abby Zieverink

Rural Alberta high school students adjust to online education

COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of how the world functions like world events, several economies and education, which has effected students not just in big cities like Calgary but also rural communities like Carstairs Alberta.

Grade 11 student, Adasyn Rothermal normally attended classes at Ecole Olds High School in Olds Alberta (about 15 minutes from Carstairs).

“…we’re doing it so we can collaborate and share ideas…”

Adasyn Rothermal

She is now adjusting to having to do assignments online without classes and little social interaction.

“When I’m doing school work I’ll facetime friends, we’re doing it so we can collaborate and share ideas,” Says Adasyn. “Then I also reach out to teachers if I have questions on google classroom.”

Google Classroom is a service developed by Google that is meant to simplify the education process in a paperless way. While EOHS is using it now they weren’t ready right away.

“They thought like this pandemic wouldn’t reach this far to where our schools could be cancelled and shut down, so they weren’t ready at all,” she said.

Her brother Trentin Rothermal however had a different experience while transitioning his Grade 12 to an online format. They too use Google Classroom but had already had integrated it into regular classroom learning and he still has online classes to attend.

“Before COVID-19 we’ve already had Google Classroom all set up for everything,” Trentin explained. “We’ve been using it very often so each student knows how to navigate through it and use it very well.”

In adjusting Adasyn feels she’s learned how to be more independent in her learning.

“I have to be more independent with my work and I don’t have a teacher there by my side when I need help,” Adasyn said.

Reported by Ty Rothermal

A look at Covid-19’s most vulnerable targets

The coronavirus is affecting everyone, but some people are at far more risk than others.

I feel like probably I could fight it, he can’t.

Kim Langager has rheumatoid arthritis, she takes a drug that comes with a side effect of a weakened immune system. If she stops taking the drug, there’s a good chance it may never work for her again. She’s not the only one in her family that runs a big risk with Covid-19 though, as her son is taking the exact same drug, her daughter in law is currently pregnant, and she has a father who is weak from a plethora of health issues.

Kim seems far less worried about herself in these times and worries most about her father, saying,” I just had to take my dad out for a C-T scan. I feel like probably I could fight it, he can’t.”.

With Alberta having the third highest amount of confirmed cases of Covid-19, that leaves Albertans worried for their future.

Brody Langager

Humboldt Broncos memorial moved to an online platform in wake of COVID-19

Monday has marked two years since the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. A memorial for the victims is still going to happen but because of the coronavirus outbreak it is to move to an online platform.

The website launched at 2 p.m ET on Monday. The website is to exhibit a representation of the many creative and unique memorabilia items that were received in the days,weeks and months that followed the tragedy.

“its important to us that people still have a place to go and reflect…”

In a statement made by Humboldt mayor Rob Muench he said “In the midst of all the turmoil in the present world we want to make sure the lives lost and those that were changed forever two years ago are not forgotten, During this time of self isolation and practicing physical distancing, its important to us that people still have a place to go to reflect and remember the tragedy and the outpouring of support that our community revived on a global scale”.

The bells at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Humboldt will toll at 4:50 p.m on Monday, the estimated time that the crash occurred. The bells will be streamed live on the city’s Facebook page and followed by a city-wide moment of silence in remembrance for the 16 lives that were lost that day.

  • Haley Carter

COVID-19: fines for Albertans who don’t follow self isolation rules

Alberta police and peace officers have been given permission to fine any Albertan that is not following self isolation rules. The Government of Alberta made this decision to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect citizens as much as possible.

Alberta residents who do not follow the rules could be looking at a fine of $1,000 to $500,000, depending on the seriousness of the violation.

“…necessity to levy fines…”

“We are experiencing a critical health situation that requires everyone’s compliance versus a necessity to levy fines to businesses or individuals during this challenging time,” said Supt. Dean Hilton, of the EPS Pandemic Command.

Calgary Police said in a statement that enforcement will be on a case by case basis and they are going to do what they can to decrease the impacts of COVID-19.

Both Calgary and Edmonton police are wanting to educate and communicate with Albertans about the importance of self-isolating but, fines will be given where they feel necessary.

-Abby Zieverink

Dawson – Practicum: Week 1

Cab·in fe·ver


irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.

“a great energy-burning game for exuberant Cubs with midwinter cabin fever”

There is currently no definition for “pandemic fever” aside from what that obviously actually means. I’ve left the house once in the last 2 weeks, and since then the world has become even more strict on travel outside. If the world weren’t wrought to it’s current state by the COVID-19 crisis I would be doing my practicum in Lloydminster, but with most reporters working from home it was too difficult for the station to supervise any practicum students–and the place I had planned to stay had to cancel for safety reasons.

Currently I am learning from Global News Calgary producer Joanne Reid, which I am both grateful for and excited about. Production behind the scenes is one of my passions and hearing about what goes on in the production room in industry is really enlightening–especially in circumstances like this one.

Reporting is considered an essential service right now, which means reporters are given paperwork to avoid fines if they are found out and about currently. With employees and workers in such short supply, Global Calgary even had to purpose the Edmonton show as an Alberta update for the weekend of March 21/22. Calgary anchors and reporters still did cut-ins with local news, but Joanne said that there were still complaints. She added that this is the first time in her career that they haven’t had a show to put together.

Joanne says that the Coronavirus has caused a phenomenon where the news seems to be covering a single ongoing story with several angles each day–akin to press coverage of 9/11. Trying to come up with story ideas to help has been difficult, and the schedule that Joanne works on adds some complications–but depending how this next week goes I could possibly catch meetings if I rework my sleep schedule. It needs some re-ordering anyway.

I was unable to do a video call with Joanne and on top of that there has been an issue with my video editing software so I have no blog project to show for this week, however I’ve had time to absorb and assess information on media coverage during the crisis.

The last few weeks have seen a lot of projects done from home for reporters, and with a short amount of staff in production there are instances where the workload becomes a bit more difficult–whether you see it or not. Sometimes the prompter doesn’t work, and an anchor will have to be more reliant on paper scripts. Sometimes an interview will need to be changed to be more topical, something that Global News had to do Thursday in order to remain relevant with COVID-19 information: a nutritionist was going to be on the show, but now, via skype, she was giving tips regarding eating healthy in quarantine. The restrictions on live interviews seem to limit them to being done on the porch of houses rather than inside–speaking to people on the street requires handing them the microphone (a practice not often recommended) or coming up with a method of holding it like a makeshift boom mic.

The city is much quieter, making events like crime suddenly an even bigger story to cover in news because it’s local. It’s an event. Otherwise stories tend to focus much more on personal experiences of individuals trying to make a difference, or those effected by the pandemic’s change.

It’s been stressful for workers. When some of us convened to speak about our practicum experience we talked about how our locations and supervisors were dealing with the experience. Reporters suddenly have a lot more difficulty trying to make B-Roll, and students under them especially so as they are advised not to leave home. Anchors need to stretch material for longer with more to say in order to fill the same timeframe that would normally be filled by much more diverse news. Producers need to extend the bounds of local stories more. Burn-out is a much more prevalent issue than before.

Currently, my “homework” has been to rewrite scripts and type up web-copy as a demonstration of what I can do, as well as put together story ideas for the upcoming week. Hopefully I haven’t bombed that.