A conflict journalist on the unique challenges of reporting on COVID in Holmfirth, England

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Will Wintercross:

Just as Dr. Savanth said this was a new situation for him, it was for me as well. Ordinarily, I report the stories of people in far-flung places.

But, here, I wasn’t just reporting from my home country, but my hometown, where there are no front lines, yet front lines are everywhere, and the enemy is invisible.

In my work, there is a real risk of death or injury. However, being at home, I could have been the agent transmitting the virus to my own parents, with whom I was staying for seven weeks. This in some ways forced me to be more careful than I have been in Syria or the Congo.

I was also acutely aware that, unlike every other story, I couldn’t simply get on a plane and leave it all behind. And it allowed me to empathize with those I had interviewed elsewhere in the world like never before.

Keely Edge, a schoolteacher in my village, talked of her worries for herself and her two young daughters.

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