AS ALL of us continue to cope with the changes in our lives brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic, I pray that you are safe and healthy and the destruction of lives from this terrible disease will soon be over. Obviously, publishing a print newspaper each week has not been easy, but that’s true for every member of the news media during this crisis.
ALTHOUGH OUR newspaper offices have been closed for the past three weeks, you can call 422-9702 during the business hours and leave a message for us or email us at any time you want at [email protected] Since we have extremely limited staff at the office (about everybody working from home) we will handle your calls as soon as we can. If you leave a message regarding what you want on our answering machine, such as an address change, please do so and we will make the changes. (Because of computer pre-addressing the change won’t go into effect until the second newspaper after you call.)
YOU CAN ALSO visit our website for info at decaturtribune.com or write us at Decatur Tribune, P.O. Box 1490, Decatur, IL 62525-1490. Thanks so much for your patience during this difficult time for all of us. We’ll get through this and be stronger as a community and nation — and as a newspaper editor and publisher.
Fortunately, I’ve always been a “hands on” editor, and involved in all aspects of the layout and production of this newspaper. What some would regard as a “burden” has been a blessing in publishing this newspaper since the pandemic hit us. In some ways, it has been like starting over a half century ago — except the technology of this age has made this difficult time so much easier than it would have been had the pandemic hit over a half century ago when I started.
• MEMBERS of the news media are among those exempt from the governor’s order to “stay at home”. Keeping people informed of what’s going on is especially important these days when information about the coronavirus is critical for the public to know. I’ve tried to keep our format in our print newspaper much the same as always, regardless of what’s happening with the pandemic.
Broadcast and online members of the media have been doing a great job of keeping people informed on an “instant news” basis and that role is different for a weekly newspaper like the Tribune. Hopefully, our usual format with our regular features (some light-hearted) will brighten your day and take away a little of the stress of what we are going through during the pandemic. A little humor can go a long way to relieve some stress and make us feel a little better during a dark time. I know it does me.
SO MANY of you have written or told me over the years how the arrival of the Decatur Tribune in your mailbox is one of the bright spots of your week. Making sure our print newspaper is published each week is also a bright spot of my week in good times and bad.
HOWEVER, my effort to make sure this newspaper is published each week does not begin to compare with the abundance of heroes in our community, and all across our nation, who have so inspired me and many others, with their unselfish giving of their talents and lives in the fight against the coronavirus. The real heroes live among us and they care about our community and the needs and fears of our people.
WHETHER it is someone in the medical profession, or in safety services, or someone who provides food in stores or carryout meals at restaurants to keep us fed, or those in other necessary businesses, or government assistance, or volunteers — our heroes are all around us and they care about us. Those people are examples of today’s heroes and worthy of respect and honor from all of us.
MAY GOD continue to protect and bless all of those who are on the front lines in this war against an unseen enemy who has made our home front a war zone. We will continue to do what we can through publishing the Decatur Tribune and hopefully inform and brighten your day and help a little along the way in enduring the pandemic. However, the real heroes are out unselfishly protecting us and saving lives. A giant thank you to all of them!
(Reprinted from the April 8th print edition of the Decatur Tribune newspaper.)