While reporting today on the continuing ravages of COVID-19, specifically on multigenerational California families who are part of the essential workforce and who live in communities severely starving for health care options, CNN's Sara Sidner was overwhelmed with emotion.
"This is the tenth hospital that I have been in," Sidner managed to get out, after several starts and stops fighting tears, "And to see the way that these families have to live after this, and the heartache that goes so far and so wide... it's really hard to take."
She broke down again after that, apologizing to anchor Alisyn Camerota, who quickly stepped in to cover for her.
"No apology needed," Camerota assured Sidner. "We've been watching your reporting on the ground throughout this horrific year, and we have all been struck by the grief, the collective grief, that all of us are in, and to see these families who are soldiering through it, who are persevering and who are having to have these funerals in parking lots, like the ones you have showed us, it is just a collective trauma that all of us are living through, and Sara, we all appreciate the heart you bring to this every single day, as well as your excellent reporting."
Sidner took a beat before responding. "Thanks. It's just not okay. It's not okay, what we're doing to each other. These families should not be going through this. No family should be going through this. So please, listen to what this family is saying. Don't let this be you. Do whatever you can to keep this from killing your family members and your neighbors and your friends and your teachers and doctors and firefighters. All of these people are here to help you, but you have to do your part."
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.