I chided my parents “Depression mind set” about saving every scrap of worthwhile goods for a rainy day -- money, food, furniture or that knotted ball of twine in the corner of the garage. I’m starting to gain a greater appreciation of the whipsaw they went through in their teens during the Depression.
    They too had an invisible enemy that was very difficult to tame. The Depression took years to overcome and today we are optimistically hoping the coronavirus battle wave will last a mere few months.  
    The daily routine for our city, state and nation has been turned upside down and the new norm is learning to adapt with evolving change. On a daily basis this week, a business strategy or a news story developed at 10 a.m. is upended by 3 p.m.
    To gauge the national scene, I’ve all but given up on TV news for my own sanity where analysis, opinion and facts can all get cobbled together. Our days have a sense of urgency with an odd and confusing excitement like a blizzard was coming -except this one will last weeks, not days.
    Our staff has done an exhaustive job covering Shelby County with six pages of information in the last two issues, but because the facts quickly change, many articles have to be re-written.  
    We are moving some staff off-site as we continue to develop a strategic balance to keep staff safe and our business alive with our simple goal to write, design and print a newspaper for you twice a week. The theory is almost laughable when we started this month as we cavalierly fretted over the woes in China.
New accessibility
    Speaking of safety, we like many other governmental entities and businesses are limiting access to our office. As of Monday morning, we are initiating a 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. window of availability for phone calls, emails and access to goods and services. We’re keeping our foyer open for those that wish to pick up their newspapers - or if a client needs office supplies we will conveniently have them available for pick up in our foyer.
    At the time of this writing we are relying on good faith that the few visitors who walk through our doors are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.  If someone needs to come into the office, we’ll maintain our six-foot distance and have Clorox® wipes or spray ready for a quick clean. It appears that each day invites new challenges.
    Thank you to Shelby County’s Home and Public Health, the nurses, doctors and staff at Myrtue Medical Center, emergency medical providers, firefighters and law enforcement who have been putting themselves quietly in harms way. We all thank you for your duty and service to our community. Also thank you to our grocers and gas station attendants who have become first responders to our everyday needs.
Adapt to a new normal
    The former director of the CDC recently wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic will change our world forever. Until it is controlled, we will all need to change how we wash our hands, cover our coughs, greet others and how close we come to others.”
    So as we start a new week in Shelby County, you must be nimble, adapt and prepare for change at a greater speed than you’ve seen before. This is a new challenge, and as a community, state and nation - we have always answered the call, from tornadoes in our midst, flooding on the Missouri River, or to the uncertainty of COVID-19, we can and will overcome this challenge together.


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