Christmas Day 2022 is coming up on Sunday and it will be an especially meaningful day for many Americans who have been isolated from family gatherings the past two Christmas holidays because of COVID-19. Despite hospital beds across the nation filling up again with patients suffering from a trifecta of respiratory viruses – Covid, RSV and flu — it seems that not many people are changing Christmas get-together plans this holiday season.
I don’t really see much concern over the virus trifecta being expressed by area residents, but hopefully that will not be a major problem this holiday in Decatur and Central Illinois. Masks are starting to appear again in some of the larger cities and it is important to keep an eye on the changing respiratory virus landscape in our own area and take precautions to stay safe — and keep others safe.
Here’s wishing you a very Blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year.
• TODAY’S “Viewpoint” column on page 3 of the print and online editions is another look at what I wrote about Christmas 2020 which was published a few days before the holiday that was dramatically impacted by COVID-19. Although not preventing family gatherings and holiday events as it did two years ago, caution is still being encouraged. Plus, there is a winter storm moving in as this edition is going to press. Getting together for Christmas has been difficult the past three years.
• AMONG other memories of past Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is the 53rd anniversary of when I spent every penny I had, and borrowed the rest, to purchase this newspaper on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1969 — one week before it was going to close its doors forever. The Decatur Tribune was a little over a year old at the time. I was a young twenty-something who had started my publishing business five years earlier in the Standard Office Building (Millikin Court Building) and I was full of dreams and a lot of energy to fulfill them.
Most of the business “experts” of the day thought I would last six months. Never tell a young person that something can’t be done — and that’s just as true today as it was in 1969. As you might imagine, it has been a lot of hard work, long hours and tremendous challenges (that continue to this day) but 53 years later the Decatur Tribune continues to roll off of the press each week — and I’ve lasted 106 times (and counting) longer than the “experts’ predicted. I thank God for blessing this effort and the tremendous support over the years by family, staff members, close friends, businesses and subscribers.
Believe me, if I had been “older and wiser” I would have known that buying this newspaper was a terrible idea, destined for failure. Thankfully, I was too young to know the newspaper would “fail”.
• MONDAY was the last day to file nominating petitions with the Macon County Clerk for candidates running for a seat on the Decatur School Board. Eight candidates are running for the three seats up for election. They are Bill Clevenger, Will Wetzel, Jacob Jenkins, Mark Reynolds, Misty Fronk, Hannah Wolfe, Jalynn Walker and Datrice Weathers. It is good to see a large field running for the Decatur School Board.
• THOSE HEADING OUT on the road for the holidays will receive the gift they’ve been waiting for all year: lower gas prices. Holiday prices this year will be $1.83 per gallon lower than they were just six months ago, according to GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform saving North American drivers the most money on fuel.
• SCAMMY SCAMS — One of our readers forwarded to me this email she received: “My name is Mr Patrick Hovakimian, an officer with United Nations and we have been having meetings in our office and have agreed to compensate some victims of scam with the sum of $5.5 Million Dollars and the payment was recently approved to you, which is one of the latest instructions from United Nations.Therefore, you are adviced to contact our chief compensation officer, Mr. Rod Anderson (World Bank) and get your payment released with immediate effect. Kindly send your reply and forward your full details to him on this email address…”
That’s a new one — a scam to compensate “victims” of scams!
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider.