Last year’s calendar is on top of the refrigerator, a page folded down to show a family gathering. It was a funeral luncheon for my beloved Cousin Tim, but everyone is smiling and supplied with one of his favorite cigars. We sent him off the way he wanted, with a celebration of the wonderful life he built in the 64 years God gave him.
My sister-in-law Nancy assembles the calendars every year for distribution at Christmas. It’s a labor of love and a daily reminder of the priceless blessings of family. I don’t know what happened to the 2020 edition. It’s here somewhere, but like the year it laid out so neatly, it got lost in current events.
All my devices say it’s Thursday, March 26. If the date wasn’t displayed on my Pixel, I wouldn’t know it. The coronavirus crisis has effectively erased the datebook of daily life. Working from home is a blessing, but it obliterates much of the structure I rely on to stay sober and motivated to crank out copy. Social distancing and community journalism aren’t easily reconciled.
But we are doing it. Day in, Day out, The Times-Tribune is bringing you the news you need and the quality you expect from a community newspaper. Today’s edition identifies the first Lackawanna County resident to die from the coronavirus. Ralph W. Genello, was a veteran and a “caring and giving” man. Read Staff Writer Borys Krawczeniuk’s story here.
For your daily outrage, we have the story of a woman who deliberately coughed on an array of food at a Gerrity’s Supermarket, causing more than $30,000 in damage and a national uproar. Read the story here, and CNN’s coverage here. As always, get the latest local news on the pandemic here.
For inspiration, read Staff Writer David Singleton’s story on the good souls powering Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Pennsylvania through this crisis. God bless them. They are doing God’s work. So is the Abingtons-based BuildUp campaign, which is placing signs thanking critical businesses staying open to serve the public. Read Staff Writer Sarah Hofius Hall’s story here.
I am immeasurably proud of my work family and miss seeing them every day I miss the newsroom banter, the camaraderie of common purpose and the shared satisfaction of a long day’s work well done. Gallows humor isn’t as funny without company on the platform.
But enough about me and my separation anxiety. How are you spending this strange day? Email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share your stories in my daily diary. The Times-Tribune is still here, and so are you. We will get through whatever comes next together, one day at a time.
Hang in there, hunker down and wash your hands. Any day of this life beats the alternative.