Jun 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus changes how reporters do their jobs

A socially distanced Capitol Hill to protect reporters and legislators

Photo: Alayna Treene/Axios

I covered the frenzied impeachment of President Trump. Now, the eerie emptiness makes the Hill almost unrecognizable.

The state of play: Big yellow stickers — "Thanks for practicing social distancing" — tell us where to stand in the Senate subway.

  • Lawmakers, usually surrounded by aides, walk alone.
  • During "gaggles," we stay a few feet away from members. We strain to make out their words, muffled by face coverings.
  • Cafeterias are closed. So reporters still going to the Capitol have turned to an old frenemy, the vending machine.

The bottom line: Covering Congress always came with tons of face time with lawmakers and aides. Now, we rely more on texts, phones and video chats.

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