SCM Journalism professor Thomas Franklin teaches by example as he tackles reports about recent COVID-19 updates. Towns all over the United States are altering their residents’ daily routines to put a halt to the rising numbers of the Coronavirus cases. Among them, Professor Franklin reports on New Jersey’s Bergen County’s new testing site in the local community college. The center is placed in the town of Paramus and is conducted through a “Drive-Thru” structure, following the recommended social distancing protocol. Military employees assisted in directing the cars, as medical staff stood prepared with the swab exam when the testing center opened.
However, with the highest rate of cases in Bergen County, Professor Franklin captures photos of anxious residents who formed mile-long lines to get tested. Some individuals arrived hours before the center opened at 8am. To reduce crowding, countless parties were turned away. In the neighboring towns, the streets grew increasingly empty in response to Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order to “stay home.” Professor Franklin’s photos reveal the once congested highways, gas stations, and malls are now all deserted. He reflects, “For the foreseeable future, this may the new normal.”