‘I know what it’s like not being able to breathe’: For one 12 News reporter, self-quarantining is personal

Street Stories

PAWTUCKET, R.I (WPRI) — While the majority of the reporters at 12 News have been out and about in the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Alexandra Leslie has been confined to her apartment.

Leslie, who’s been part of the 12 News This Morning team since April 2018, has been working remotely since last March, but not by choice.

She has Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening disease that impacts the lungs and digestive system.

“I know what it’s like not being able to breathe,” she explained. “Knowing that this virus has caused some people to be on a ventilator was enough for me to make the decision for me to be home.”

Leslie said not being able to leave her apartment has been hard, adding that she went eight months without seeing her parents.

“I miss doing mundane things,” Leslie said. “You see people who are out and about, not even people going on vacations during a pandemic, just people who are going to the grocery store. I would love to pick my own groceries out in the store.”

Leslie said what’s made the situation a bit better is that she’s not completely alone. She has her four-legged buddy, Eddie, who she takes for brief walks around her neighborhood in an effort to get some fresh air.

“Eddie has been my best friend,” she said. “He’s always been there for me no matter what time of day it’s been and he’s been such a source of comfort.”

Despite working from home, Leslie is still in tune with what’s going on across the state. She’s transformed her living room into her very own newsroom.

“It’s been an adjustment, when your workplace is your home,” she said. “I have a computer, I edit everything at home, shoot everything at home, as far as me being on camera.”

Leslie said the hardest part of working from home is missing out on breaking news, but that hasn’t stopped her from telling meaningful stories.

“One of the stories I really enjoyed doing the most was talking with a girl like me who has Cystic Fibrosis,” she recalled. “Knowing she’s going through the same thing, where she’s been home for the past year and doing school remotely, and I’m doing work remotely, and we had that connection.”

Leslie said she’s hoping she will receive the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine next month. While she’s hopeful her life will return to normal soon, she makes sure to never forget that every day is a gift.

“It is hard knowing that you have limited time, but I think where we are now with medication and drugs that are available, the life expectancy has dramatically increased,” she said.

Leslie said right now, her lung function is better than ever and she’s looking forward to vacationing in Vermont once it’s safe for her to leave her apartment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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