From the Editor’s Notebook:
It is certainly a different time for us all, isn’t it? If you have not been affected in any way by the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, well, I would be amazed.
Perhaps you already were a hermit living off the grid. Lucky you.
Here at the Faribault County Register, our office doors have been shut and locked all week.
That fact has caused some concern among our friends, neighbors and readers. Let me assure you, we are still publishing our weekly newspaper. Of course, if you are reading this column right now, you are aware of that fact.
Several people have stopped me and asked if we plan on shutting down. The answer is, no, we are not. We are listed as an essential business.
Some of you have wondered if we would have any news at all to put in the Register each week. I can appreciate that concern. After all, the school is shut down so there isn’t any school news, and there are not any sports to cover for our sports pages. That is true.
Events of all kinds are being cancelled or postponed left and right, so we don’t really have any of those to worry about covering and getting to, in order to take some photos.
Meetings of public bodies are still being held, but they are being kept to a minimum. Some are even being held by phone.
And, everyone is pretty tired of hearing and reading about nothing except the coronavirus.
Yet, you will notice we do have some news inside this week’s newspaper. And some of it has nothing to do with the COVID-19 Pandemic, believe it or not.
We were 24 pages last week, and 24 pages again this week. That is a pretty good number for us. Now, whether that keeps up or not is questionable, depending on how long this thing goes on. If businesses can’t be open and service their customers, they could cut back on advertising. We could see our page count go down in the next few weeks.
Of course, we will still find stories to write each and every week. You might even find a school news item or a sports related story sneak its way into the newspaper once in a while.
We hope to bring you stories of how people are coping with this new way of living. In fact, we are already working on a couple of those for next week.
So while our front door is locked, remember you can still call us on the phone, send us an email, text us, message us, and even send us a letter in the good ol’ U.S. mail.
And, that includes letting us know any good story ideas you might know about.
Meanwhile, are you getting used to this new ‘normal,’ as people are calling it?
For some it is time off from work, either paid or unpaid. It means your children are home and not in school. Some folks are working from home, and some kids are learning at home.
Zoom is the new thing. Meetings are held using Zoom, and kids are ‘attending’ school by way of Zoom. They can see and hear their classmates.
My granddaughters are still attending their dance practices, by way of Zoom. Their teacher shows them what to do, and they practice it right in their living room at home.
Most people I run into know we no longer shake hands and do the wave thing instead. Even bumping elbows or knocking feet together gets you too close and breaks that six-foot boundary.
Locally, we have some stores that are still open, but many are closed. Some restaurants offer take out, and report good sales. As our story in the Home Improvement Section tells, paint sales are way up as those homebound are looking for things to do.
Likewise, Breen’s Hardware reports their big sales are jigsaw puzzles, as folks look for something to do at home.
And, speaking of our local businesses, I worry about them. Having to shut down for a few weeks, or even months, is going to be devastating to many of them.
And, having the governor order everyone to stay home as much as possible is certainly not going to help our local business economy much.
I hope we all do whatever we can to support our local business places, and when this thing is over, please shop locally as absolutely much as you possibly can. They are going to need all the support they can possibly get.
And maybe some day we will once again find toilet paper back on the shelves of our local stores. What is up with that, anyway?
So here is hoping we all stay safe, healthy and financially stable through this whole pandemic crisis. It truly is a whole different time for us all.
Thanks for reading us. We hope to continue to have something for you to read each and every week.