MEDIA POST: How my media consumption changed when I had covid-19 symptoms


When Samuel Pepys was an eyewitness to history he kept a diary.

Me? I binged podcasts and YouTube.

For the past 14 days I’ve had mild coronavirus symptoms. My wife went down with them two days after me.

How mild were my symptoms? A cough. Sometimes a shortness of breath. Lungs that felt like wasps nests. Symptoms that shape shift. A weird feeling of dizziness sometimes. Tiredness.

Many people have had it far worse than me.

I blog this for two reasons, to remind people that most people will have mild symptoms and secondly to give some gentle user testing insight to public sector comms people.

The news cycle is dominated by the need for clicks. I avoided it.

Instead of BBC Radio 5 live in the kitchen it was BBC Radio 4 Extra. I wanted Frankie Howerd not the fear.

The social media cycle is dominated by the need for shock. I largely avoided it.

I searched for official channels and no politicians.

The thirst for information greatly out paces the flow of information. I went to trusted sources. NHS, public health my council.

Nothing chimed with me like a story of a recovery. I wanted the flowers and grapes of good news.

I could have read about people thanking frontline workers all day.

I struggled to find the info. There is loads of info about not getting covid-19 and loads if you think you’ve got covid 19 but almost nothing when you think you have covid-19.

I got purposely distracted a lot. Hey, there is a whole sub-genre of YouTube based around metal detecting Eastern Front digs. Who knew? Finding hand grenades in the forests east of Berlin are really common. So are SS cap badges. Apparently, they buried them to avoid getting shot on sight when captured.

Elis and John’s BBC Five Live podcasts helped me through my darkest times. They kept my mind distracted.

I shopped on the internet for the things I really needed.

I  got my will done online but it takes five days to be verified and returned. You may want to bear that in mind and plan ahead.

In times of crisis I draw strength from the things my Mum said that were passed down to her.

I’m grateful for what I have.

There is always someone worse off.

So, count your blessings, count them one by one and then you’ll see what the Lord has done.

All of my experience is far worse in the telling than the living.

Symptoms don’t follow a path. Two good days could be followed by a bad day so rest.

History says that we will push most of what is happening to the back of our mind. History is written by the victors and in a pandemic just who are the victors?

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