I have been luckier than most during the COVID-19 pandemic. My family and I are all healthy, and we’re getting by. However, this global crisis is altering every facet of my day-to-day life. Before the pandemic, I was covering the University of Florida men’s basketball and baseball teams simultaneously. The pandemic not only brought the sports world to a grinding halt but essentially ended all social contact in my life. Besides working with my fellow students, athletes and other journalists, I truly miss seeing my friends outside of work. At The Alligator, the student-run newspaper that I wrote for, we would all go out to a bar every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. without fail in order to unwind and talk about things other than a nut graf or lede. Once the bars and the UF campus were shut down, everyone traveled back home, and we found ourselves missing each other and the $5 liquor pitchers we shared every Wednesday night. We only went for one week without seeing each other. For the last two months — without fail — we have met on a zoom call every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. in order to maintain some level of normalcy. We sometimes talk until 4 a.m. and it can’t be helped. We’ll talk about current events, our families, and reminisce about the times we had. COVID-19 took away my graduation ceremony, my internship and all the sports that I love — but there are some things that I get to keep.

— Joseph Salvador

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