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Less than ten days ago, he was standing at the doors on the west side of the United States Capitol building as Trump supporters made their way into the corridors of power.

I saw people dressed in strange suits climbing stairs, climbing walls and scaffolding on the West Front, where Joe Biden will take office as president next week.

They shouted “for the robbery”, “our house” and “fake news”, some threatened to kill the vice president, the legislators and the media. It was shocking, sometimes terrifying, and completely surreal from start to finish.

From Brexit chaos to coronavirus

It has been almost exactly a year since I landed in Los Angeles to start a position at Nine’s US office and a new adventure for my family.

Flying across the Atlantic from London after a busy period at our European office, I felt that life in America would be more peaceful. The weather would be better, the time zone more manageable and I was leaving behind the chaos and endless turmoil of Brexit.

We had a two-month honeymoon period to reintroduce our children, then three and five, to the sun and set them up in school and preschool, when I started an exciting new job.

In early March, the coronavirus hit hard and California enacted some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country.

Our son had just started a fantastic elementary school and made new friends when school campuses “temporarily” closed.

Over ten months later, they are still closed and we have no indication when in-person learning will resume.

Somehow, he has learned to read and write through Zoom’s classroom and the diligent supervision and efforts of his father.

If you think Zoom business meetings are hard work, imagine 25 six-year-olds on the same screen yelling at each other, at the teacher, and at their supervising parent.

Here is an example: “MOM, I can’t find the right math book!” Lyle yells, while another boy still in pajamas serves himself a sandwich, and another leaves the screen yelling “I’m going to the bathroom!” Lyle’s mom runs around the back half dressed waving the math book.

It’s chaos, but everyone is doing the best they can. There are technical issues and of course a total lack of real social interaction, not to mention sports or physical education.

I see the Facebook posts from my friends from Australia about their children’s kindergarten graduation, football games and sleepovers and I feel guilty about what our boy is missing.

Adams, wearing a mask, awaits his signal in New York City.
Amelia Adams, wearing a mask, waits for her signal in New York City. (Amelia Adams / Instagram / Adam Bovino)

Our three-year-old daughter reluctantly attended preschool a couple of days a week when COVID-19 struck, and the confinement suited her perfectly.

We set up a tent in the living room. We ordered board games online, drew pictures for grandparents at home, baked cookies, and looked at each Home alone movie on repeat.

Even in a global pandemic, Home alone 4 it was a low point.

The preschool has closed several times since then due to COVID outbreaks (they only close the classroom with a positive case, the rest of the school remains open).

Our daughter wears a tiny unicorn mask, but it’s not an age group known for hygiene or social distancing.

It baffles me that preschools remain open; To make it clear that we support this, it has been our saving grace throughout ten months of homeschooling while our son has to sit at home in front of a screen.

‘I had to remind myself that I was not on a film set’

The inconsistencies in the response to the coronavirus at the national and state levels have been confusing and at times infuriating.

While filming in Kansas, locals and business owners constantly asked my crew and I to remove our masks.

In Florida, while waiting for a cleaned-up NASA rocket launch, I visited a nail salon for the first time all year, puzzled, but delighted, at how it was considered safe to get a pedicure in one side of the country but not the other.

Covering the BLM protests in Washington.
Covering the BLM protests in Washington. (Nine)

Days later, I found myself in the midst of thousands of BLM protesters outside the White House, demanding government action and commitment to end years of systemic racism across the United States and responses to the deaths of black people at the hands of the white police.

Standing in front of a giant bonfire in the street as rioters burned American flags and tried unsuccessfully to break through the heavy police line keeping them away from Donald Trump’s door, he was sure he would never see a scene like this again in history. from the United States. Last week he was proven wrong.

As we stood in a large crowd at the Washington Monument, my cameraman and I heard Donald Trump urging his followers to “walk to the Capitol,” “show strength,” and “stop the robbery.”

The scene outside the Capitol building when Trump supporters gathered.  Photo: Amelia Adams
The scene outside the Capitol building when Trump supporters gathered. (Amelia Adams)

We quickly got into motion. Walking down the National Mall, Trump supporters harassed us, sometimes trying to break the camera or trip us, generally intimidating and threatening us.

Masks were few and far between, and as the violence escalated, the threat of COVID was the last thing on our minds.

I had the impression that most of the supporters who stormed the Capitol that day were shocked at how far they went and the damage they did.

With my cameraman and my security guard, I stood at a gate as protesters pushed their way through with crowbars, metal poles, and their bare hands.

On the other side, the armed guards tried to hold them back, but eventually relented as the crushing and power of the crowd overwhelmed them.

We didn’t cross the threshold, as we knew by then that a Trump supporter had been shot dead, and with an intermittent phone signal, it was impossible to gauge how dangerous the situation inside was.

Amelia in a mask in front of a Trump rally.
Amelia in a mask in front of a Trump rally. (Nine)

Some people came out declaring victory; bloodied, shirtless, eyes red from tear gas, clutching documents and memorabilia from the Senate and House chambers.

Among them were conspiracy theorists and civil war enthusiasts.

Others were average Americans who came out of Congress singing, singing, and even laughing; Republican voter mom and dad with a story to tell grandchildren: “The day we stormed the Capitol and showed Mike Pence who this country belongs to.”

'It's On' - Nine US correspondent Adams reviews his notes as he prepares for the camera to leak.
‘It’s On’ – Nine US correspondent Adams reviews his notes as he prepares for the camera to leak. (Amelia Adams / Instagram)

I suspect that most of the latter group had no idea that a Capitol police officer had been beaten to death and senators were huddled under chairs texting their families saying goodbye.

I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t on a film set.

The words that have stuck to me

In the days leading up to our move to the United States, I was in Iraq, covering the aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Four months earlier, he was on the Syrian-Iraqi border covering the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria, sparked by the Trump Administration’s order that ordered US troops to withdraw from the region.

He had seen firsthand the consequences of some of President Trump’s “America First” political decisions.

I also covered various world summits and state visits during which the US President regularly put world leaders off the table, broke royal protocol, and released Air Force One-laden tweets that always left a diplomatic storm in their wake. .

My cammo Richo has shared this extraordinary journey.
My cammo Richo has shared this extraordinary journey. (Nine)

He expected the 2020 U.S. election campaign to be exciting, unpredictable, perhaps even brutal.

He didn’t expect it to culminate in thousands of Trump supporters turning on law enforcement and mounting a deadly insurrection.

Four years ago, this week, Donald Trump stood on a stage where his followers would stage his attempt to subvert democracy.

He spoke of the “orderly and peaceful transfer of power,” and thanked the Obamas for their “kind help” during the transition.

And he recognized the tens of millions who voted for him “to be part of a historic movement like the world has never seen before.”

Sure he was right about that.

Of all the Trump supporters I met and interviewed on Capitol Hill that day, the words of one man in particular have stuck with me.

He insisted that the so-called “revolution” was no longer about Donald Trump.

“This is for my teenage daughters, so they can speak and think freely,” she told me.

“We would rather die free than live under tyranny.”

Millions of Americans agree with him.

I wonder how those convictions will play out in the weeks and months to come, as the phenomenal movement that is Trumpism enters the post-Trump era.

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