Life In the Wake of a Pandemic – Haley’s Story

April 28, 2020

My name is Haley Jordan Begay, and I am a senior at Indiana University studying sports broadcast journalism and Spanish. My goal is to become a sideline reporter for ESPN or Fox Sports.

I am extremely dedicated. I often wake up early at my Bloomington apartment, walk two miles to school (I use this as exercise), and sit in class all day until my writing internship begins later in the afternoon. I sign up for every project that I’m offered whether that be covering a Little 500 bike team planning for their big race, starting my own women’s media organization on campus or participating in worship with a student-run church group called FCA.

My days were often stressful and filled with anxiety because I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to succeed. I never said no or took a break from school and media-related activities. Then, the corona virus hit.

At first, I thought the virus replicated the swine flu and was just unpleasant and only deadly for a small portion of people. However, I was still cautious and carried tons of hand sanitizer. I canceled my spring break trip. All of my activities were getting canceled left and right including sideline reporting for the Big Ten Network.

Everything that made me happy was disappearing. Then school was officially moved to e-learning. At first, I wasn’t too mad about this change because my life was so fast paced that I actually wanted a break from my jam-packed days. But then boredom quickly settled in. I missed my professors, friends, sideline reporting and making a difference on campus through Jesus Christ’s love.

After all of this hit, I truly realized that being busy is a great thing, and I shouldn’t have taken it for granted. All those activities I was involved in did make me happy even though I worried I wouldn’t be able to get them all done. However, I always did, and now I miss that feeling of having too much to do.

I haven’t seen another human face in person (other than my family) in over a month. I am taking social distancing very seriously so that everyone can get back to their normal lives. As I have been sitting home doing my online classes and job, another nightmare struck; my mother’s brain cancer returned.

My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer almost three years ago and beat it pretty quick! She made chemo and radiation seem easy, and her MRI scans always came back clear. But now, it’s back, and I am truly scared. If corona were to hit the world at any time, I’m glad it’s now because I am able to be home with my mom.

She is with her whole family under one roof where she is being kept busy doing her regular momma duties and spending time with us. She and I have been binge watching our favorite reality TV shows, staying up until 1 a.m. laughing and taking time to appreciate life.

I am certain my momma will beat this cancer again. I am also certain that this deadly virus will make everyone better in the long run. We will appreciate the stress, the crazy and the time we get to spend seeing friends face to face when we return to “real life.”

I’d like to thank my Native American and AIS community for the continuous financial support that has propelled my broadcasting career and for keeping in touch with their students. I pray for your safety, health and to enjoy the boredom a little more today.

– Haley Jordan Begay, Cherokee



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