The Chronicle is checking in with people in the community during the COVID-19 crisis, in an ongoing segment called ‘COVID-19 and Five Questions With’.
Dan MacInally is the station manager for Riot Radio – Durham College’s (DC) campus radio station. He handles daily operations and oversees staff as well as volunteers. Before the pandemic, Riot Radio was open to student volunteers and was used as a learning tool for multiple DC programs.
1) Chronicle: How do you compare where we are with your initial thought process regarding COVID-19?
MacInally: Everything happened so quickly that there really wasn’t time to think how long this would last or how far the restrictions would go. When they first announced the extended March break for primary schools my first thought was where will my daughter go when I have to go to work because our daycare facility was located in the school and they closed as well. Then we were sent home and slowly more restrictions were put in to place. I definitely did not think we would still be here seven weeks later with no real end in sight.
2) Chronicle: How has your work life been impacted?
MacInally: At first, we were temporarily working from home but then the college was closed and we had to think of ways to continue to operate from home without access to our studio. I reached out to our volunteers at that time to see if they were still interested in producing shows from home and helped them figured out ways they could record content with the equipment they had at home. Whether it be using their laptops or smartphones to record audio or video. We have regular video meetings with our department managers and have tried to keep everything as normal as possible.
3) Chronicle: Outside of work, tell us how your daily routine has changed since this has started?
MacInally: The biggest change to my daily routine has been staying home every day and not seeing my family and friends. Life before coronavirus was very structured, waking up at the same time each weekday morning to get myself and my daughter ready for the day, dropping her off at school and heading into work. Now the days are starting a little later and feel much longer, but we are beginning to adjust to the restrictions and it is beginning to feel normal – if that’s even possible.
4) Chronicle: What do you miss the most since having to socially distance?
MacInally: I miss seeing my parents the most and watching them spend time with my daughter. We spend a lot of time together and I think it is difficult for everyone not having that in-person connection right now. We FaceTime daily and send pictures and messages back-and-forth throughout the day as much as we can.
5) Chronicle: What do you think of the way our leaders have responded?
MacInally: I think Canada’s leadership has done a great job. Seeing some leaders on the front lines helping out is very reassuring. I think at first we were really caught off guard with the initial announcement of the school closures and early restrictions, but looking back now it was the right decision and I am happy that they did not hesitate to make those decisions. Canada appears to be in a better position than most countries and we are very lucky to have access to things like universal healthcare. Hopefully, this tragedy will make us even more united and stronger as a country.