| Chris Maza
The concept that change is inevitable is not a new one.
But since March 10, 2020, when Gov. Charlie Baker signed a declaration of a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, change has never been more prevalent in the lives of residents of the commonwealth.
Guidance and requirements from state, federal and worldwide health and government officials have been implemented, altered, rescinded and then reinstated. Some has been legally challenged and defeated. The use of public health data has evolved, not only in the way it is collected but in how it is analyzed and how that analysis informs public health policy.
Educators and families alike were forced to adjust the way we teach our children through remote and virtual learning. Now those same people are developing and implementing new strategies to reengage a student population of which some of the younger have never set foot in a classroom and the older in many instances are struggling with learning lag, all while still managing and adapting to shifting health protocols.
Businesses had to adjust their models to get their products to the market, remain competitive and maintain enough revenue to survive. Some made difficult decisions to shutter their operations, Meanwhile we as consumers had to change our consumption habits. Now, across most industries, they are faced with making due through supply and workforce shortages.
Many were forced to leave jobs and some changed their career course altogether. Some are still looking for opportunities.
Much like the changing of seasons, the crocuses of hope are beginning to poke through the snow and ice of the winter that has been our COVID-19 experience.
For our part here at Reminder Publishing, change was certainly prevalent and overall positive with the addition of new editions and continued expansion throughout Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties. More change is sure to come soon with additional expansion that will result in nearly 500,000 weekly readers throughout the area. Our Reminder Publishing team is ready to meet the challenges as we continue to tell the story of people and advertisers throughout Western Massachusetts.
Vaccines are readily available to the general public and, as a result, health trends are headed in the right direction and our area leaders and health professionals are in the midst of planning and determining how we can best serve our communities’ physical, mental and emotional health needs as we transition back from pandemic mode.
Area businesses are beginning to see their operations and clientele return to normal. Meanwhile, some intrepid residents took the opportunity to start new businesses.
New projects aimed at bolstering fine and performing arts and tourism are underway, as are important planning processes that will lay the groundwork for future improvements to local libraries, infrastructure and renewable energy.
In this Community Outlook 2022 – our first dedicated to Hampshire and Franklin County communities – Reminder Publishing aims to tell some of the stories of ingenuity, perseverance, strength and forward thinking that will help guide us into the post-pandemic world.
What is your story? We’d love to hear it and it would be our pleasure to help you share it.