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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

All I write about now is COVID


Jasmine El-Shurafa working on a computer late into the evening.

Hey there, it’s Abbey. You might recognize me from the News section–I’m the editor there; it’s no big deal. Or maybe you skip over the news because you think it’s boring (you’re wrong) and go right to the “fun” sections–I don’t know your life. Anyway, I decided I’d try my hand at a Humor piece this week, obviously, and what I’m looking to do here really is bring to light a grievance I’ve had on my chest for quite some time: all I write about now is COVID.

Perhaps you think that because I’m a budding journalist, this whole thing has been fun for me, at least from a writing perspective. Well, I can assure you, it certainly has not. Sure, when word spread in March 2020 of a global pandemic, I was like alright, I know what I’m writing about this week!, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that 13 months later I would still be droning on about the ever-intensifying situation that probably would’ve calmed down by now at least a little bit more if Spring Break in Miami hadn’t happened twice (twice!) 

Now, you might be saying, “Abbey, if you hate writing about COVID so much, why don’t you just stop?” That’s a dumb question; clearly you don’t understand my profession. First and foremost, I am a woman of The News, and The News commands that I update the public about all of the different phases of lockdown, vaccination, and reopening that are announced. How else are you going to know if Massachusetts is absolutely curb-stomping the spread of corona, or if Baker has royally messed up the website again? At this point, I am basically an expert on everything from vaccination eligibility and sites to if you were going to be able to see the Sox play on opening day (you’ll know that the answer was yes if you were one of the fools who paid $508 to sit in the bleachers).

Secondly, literally every other news story has some aspect of COVID naturally baked into it like some sort of downer cookie–an extreme oatmeal raisin, if you will. I’m not sure if you remember, but the former president of the United States fell ill somewhat near the end of his term last year. That’s News! What did he fall ill with, you ask? I’m just kidding, I know you remember. Now, to not write about the president getting COVID would’ve been like being the commander in chief of a nation stuck in a pandemic and suggesting its citizens inject disinfectants into their bodies to cure it, so even when one of my writers pitched the story, I still wrote an Opinions piece about it. Maybe that one was on me, I don’t know. That’s besides the point. Now that we don’t have a spray tan in the shape of a man holding office, I actually have to write even more about COVID. Biden has all these goals for vaccination and these new safety rules–which are great, don’t get me wrong–and somebody has got to tell the UMass Boston student body about them. Even the Reddit, GameStop, short squeeze story had a pandemic element to it. GameStop sure wasn’t doing well pre-corona, but of course I had to mention that COVID was making it worse pre-wallstreetbets, because as a woman of The News, I am also a woman of The Facts. And the fact is, COVID hurt GameStop sales, just like it is hurting my creative nose for news. I’ve never felt so close to GameStop; I don’t quite like it.

Even when I want to take my reporting down to the UMass Boston level, I’ve still got to address the pandemic. I can’t cover a single event without letting everyone know it happened over Zoom, because as a woman of The News, I cannot rest until I know every quote is exactly as written, every situation presented exactly as it occurred, and every bit of COVID news has been reported on.

This week, I decided I was going to write about the USG’s General Assembly and their election (if you’re the individual who skipped the News section to come read the funny stuff, you better stop reading this piece right now and scroll back up to the top of the pdf or search my article. I don’t care that there’s like half a paragraph left, you go open up a new window, you type in umassmedia.com, you download that pdf, and you read this whole paper in chronological order until you find your way back here) and a humor article, so you may be thinking that this week, I’ll be at least mostly safe from writing about COVID. Yes, I’ll have to mention that the USG GA was conducted remotely, blah blah blah, but besides that, I should be good, right? Wrong! My lovely writers are also women of The News, and they do their do-diligence in writing about COVID or topics that have COVID baked in like a gross oatmeal raisin cookie too. So, as you can see, if I want to make my Mass Media money and be able to pay my rent, I can’t just dodge this thing–kinda like how in real life if you want to survive this thing, you need to stop kissing all your Tinder matches, you thirsty rascal.