Coronavirus lockdown: 'The new normal has been my old normal for years'

By Elizabeth Quigley
BBC Scotland news

Elizabeth working at home
Image caption,
Elizabeth has been working at home for several years

Adapting and reinventing have been part of my working life for many years.

I was diagnosed with MS in the year 2000. And over the last 20 years I've gone from being based in a newsroom and on location to working more and more from home.

As my mobility has decreased - walking with a stick, then two crutches, now a walker and sometimes a wheelchair - so my need for technology to help me to work has increased.

Always adapting. Always reinventing.

This has worked well. But I always felt a bit off the radar and, dare I say it, even forgotten about.

Well, that's the downside of working remotely I guess: you tend to feel a bit remote.

Making a mess

I arrange all my stories and interviews, go out to do the filming with my cameraman, and then come home to record my voice later.

I have software that means I can record straight onto my phone from a suitable room.

In my case that's my son's bedroom - as long as the curtains are shut and there are enough blankets and duvets around to ensure the sound is acceptable.

It's not nine-year-old Matthew making a mess of his room - it's his mother!

I can also look through the interviews and pictures in my kitchen and choose the best shots and clips.

Image caption,
Elizabeth avoids travelling to Glasgow for meetings

I then edit remotely with me sitting at home... and my editor and producer sitting in the newsroom. And no-one can tell that's how it was done when the piece is broadcast.

I hardly ever go into the newsroom. I stay in contact by phone but I definitely feel a bit remote. I avoid going to meetings in Glasgow or Edinburgh. The travel would be too exhausting and debilitating for me.

So remote working can be done. For several years I have been quietly making it work on a VERY small scale.

This new normal has been my old normal for several years.

And now everyone is adapting and reinventing.

Imagine presenting a radio programme from your attic? Or broadcasting a TV show from your living room?

Unthinkable. Until now.

But this new normal unfortunately has some extra conditions for me.

I have been told my condition and the treatment I'm receiving mean I have to be shielded.

So from now on I'll be adapting, reinventing... and concentrating on surviving.