Each time I turn on the news, I cannot help but think of what it would be like for my brother Chris Reymann to be behind the camera, doing the thankless work of covering the news during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, less than a week ago beloved NBC audio technician Larry Edgeworth lost his battle with COVID-19. My brother died by suicide in September 2019. He worked for 28 years as a news videographer in Cleveland. He was, in my opinion, one of the best. He was precise, professional, and took great pride in his work. He won two Emmy awards, but you would never know it. He was as humble as they come. He supported everyone, all of the time. He always ended conversations with me with “you’re doing a good job” or “make sure to get enough rest” or “don’t work too hard.” I wish that he was as good at taking his own advice as giving it. He was the most courageous and generous person I knew. Not a lot of people knew it but my brother suffered from depression for years. He never talked about it. He never complained. He just stayed the course. And like so many others, he lost his battle with mental health. As a sibling survivor, I have so many questions, so much grief, and so much regret and guilt that I could not save him.
And now, I cannot save his colleagues either – colleagues that were like family to him. He saw them day in and day out for 28 years. They have families including spouses, grandparents, kids, and friends, just like us. They all became my second family when my brother passed away, and many of them stay in touch with me to make sure that I am ok. These are good people. These are the best people, both personally and professionally. They are dedicated journalists, getting the job done. I cringe in disbelief when I see them – no personal protective equipment (PPE), no gloves, just a heart and soul for real news and a personal obligation to let the public know what is going on. There is no such thing as social distancing in the news. They do whatever it takes to get the job done. They are making a personal sacrifice every day. These are unsung heroes, and we could not do it without them. I worry about them every day. Will they be ok? I hope they will, for my sake and yours. The next time you see a reporter or videographer, please thank them for all that they do.