| Payton North
I think I can safely say that we’re all aware of how serious the current coronavirus situation is – and if you’re not aware or taking it seriously – it’s time to educate yourself.
I still stand by my column from a few weeks ago, where I asked readers to be rational, cautious and to not panic. Sending yourself into hysteria will only hurt you further and leave you even more at risk. I understand first–hand that is easier said than done, but we all need a little bit of that cautious optimism to keep our spirits up.
With that said, our situation has escalated since then. As I’m writing this, I’m typing on my laptop from my desk at home. All Reminder Publishing staff has been asked to work from home, if possible.
While I do enjoy writing from home in my pajamas, I also find myself missing bouncing ideas off of coworkers. Nothing compares to a bustling newsroom where reporters can constantly talk about what they’re working on. However – I will say – it was getting a little emotionally and mentally draining not only writing about the coronavirus all day, but discussing it, analyzing it, and re–analyzing it over and over again. We’re still doing that, but from the comfort of our homes.
Though we’re continuing covering important stories that do have to do with the coronavirus, we’re also covering regularly scheduled events, such as candidates that are running for upcoming elections, local authors who have penned books and –quite simply – people in general who are doing great things in our communities.
There are some fantastic local health clubs that are offering free online classes to the public, other area bakeries are offering pick–up cake decorating and cookie kits for kids, many restaurants and organizations are bringing food to local hospitals for the doctors and nurses who are working tirelessly, some eateries are offering free food to families who suffer from food insecurities.
What I find amazing – but not surprising – is how well communities come together to help one another. When the tornado ripped through Western Mass. in 2011, everyone lept into action. I distinctly remember baking hundreds of snickerdoodle cookies and bringing them down to the First Church of Monson with my mom to pass out to not only displaced families, but also people who had volunteered all day to aid in the relief. Though today’s circumstances are different in the sense that we don’t want any personal contact, the support for thy neighbor has not changed, judging by the selfless acts I witness on social media every day. I applaud all of you.
There does come a time, though, (usually around 9 p.m. when I can’t fall asleep) where I find I really need some time to decompress from all the stress of the day, and I’m sure all of our readers can relate. Here are a few things I’m doing that are helping me keep some of that cautious optimism I mentioned earlier:
What are you doing during this time to keep busy? Is there anything in particular you’re focusing on to help keep your mind at ease? Drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know. For now – at the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie – I wish you all health, safety and most of all, happiness during these trying times. I urge you to find your cautious optimism.