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15th May 2020

In_pictures Coronavirus lockdown: ‘The new normal has been my old normal for years’

In_pictures Coronavirus lockdown: ‘The new normal has been my old normal for years’


in_pictures Elizabeth working at home

Image caption

Elizabeth has been working at home for several years

Adapting and reinventing have been part of my working life for many years.

I was diagnosed with MS in the year 2000. And over the last 20 years I’ve gone from being based in a newsroom and on location to working more and more from home.

As my mobility has decreased – walking with a stick, then two crutches, now a walker and sometimes a wheelchair – so my need for technology to help me to work has increased.

Always adapting. Always reinventing.

This has worked well. But I always felt a bit off the radar and, dare I say it, even forgotten about.

Well, that’s the downside of working remotely I guess: you tend to feel a bit remote.

In_pictures Making a mess

I arrange all my stories and interviews, go out to do the filming with my cameraman, and then come home to record my voice later.

I have software that means I can record straight onto my phone from a suitable room.

In my case that’s my son’s bedroom – as long as the curtains are shut and there are enough blankets and duvets around to ensure the sound is acceptable.

It’s not nine-year-old Matthew making a mess of his room – it’s his mother!

I can also look through the interviews and pictures in my kitchen and choose the best shots and clips.

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Elizabeth avoids travelling to Glasgow for meetings

I then edit remotely with me sitting at home… and my editor and producer sitting in the newsroom. And no-one can tell that’s how it was done when the piece is broadcast.

I hardly ever go into the newsroom. I stay in contact by phone but I definitely feel a bit remote. I avoid going to meetings in Glasgow or Edinburgh. The travel would be too exhausting and debilitating for me.

So remote working can be done. For several years I have been quietly making it work on a VERY small scale.

This new normal has been my old normal for several years.

And now everyone is adapting and reinventing.

Imagine presenting a radio programme from your attic? Or broadcasting a TV show from your living room?

Unthinkable. Until now.

But this new normal unfortunately has some extra conditions for me.

I have been told my condition and the treatment I’m receiving mean I have to be shielded.

So from now on I’ll be adapting, reinventing… and concentrating on surviving.


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