Letter from the Editor: Why we stopped daily COVID-19 updates


Domenic Conte

A sign on the window of Emerson’s coronavirus testing site at Tufts Medical Center.

By Charlie McKenna

As The Beacon’s new editor-in-chief, I wanted to explain why we made the decision to pivot to weekly updates on the state of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, a departure from the daily updates that we have provided since September. When we launched daily updates—or “dashboard copy” as we’ve referred to it internally—the pandemic dominated nearly every aspect of our lives as students, and as American citizens. 

Restrictions abounded in Massachusetts—and at Emerson—and vigilance was critical with no real treatments or vaccines on the horizon. At the time, it felt like our duty to inform the community of the current state of the pandemic because, at the time, even the smallest fluctuation could mean a significant change in our day-to-day. As cases began to rise, this responsibility was only heightened. And even as cases began to decline in the spring, Emerson was still mandating twice-weekly testing and reporting positive tests. Students were still staying in Paramount.

Now, as we approach the fall and a return to some semblance of “normal” it seems the pandemic no longer dominates every facet of our lives. Gone are the days of mask mandates, social distancing, and mandatory testing. With all that in mind, and with cases in Massachusetts having fallen well below 100 for the better part of a month, we’ve decided to give our staff a much-needed break from the daily grind of “dashboard copy,” and pivot to weekly updates.