It’s hard to know how to answer the simple question, “How are you?” these days.
Of course, for the two-person editorial team at the Post-Record, which now includes managing editor Kelly Moyer (that’s me) and reporter Doug Flanagan, the answer is pretty simple: “Busy.”
In the span of just one week, the Post-Record team has published more than 20 online breaking news stories, features, guest columns and updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has effectively shut down much of the world.
We are staying very busy — writing from our homes, venturing out to our office in Vancouver only when absolutely necessary and going into public to take photos from sites that do not put us in direct contact with other humans — because we know how important having accurate information is right now. We know our readers are concerned with not only the latest facts and figures regarding the virus’ infection rates but also about how their friends, families, neighbors and community members are doing.
In the coming weeks, we hope to give as much information as possible to help our readers better understand the pandemic, cope with the new “stay at home” orders and — hopefully — provide a welcome respite from the daily flood of awful news by highlighting some of the good things Camas-Washougal residents are doing during this crisis.
Because the social-distancing orders — which we know are the only way to fight this deadly virus — have paused our sports, schools, events and business coverage, the Post-Record has had to temporarily reduce the size of its weekly print edition. To make up for this loss, we are ramping up our online coverage and attempting to publish at least two new stories each day, with as many breaking news updates as possible. You can find all of those stories and our ongoing COVID-19 coverage online at camaspostrec ord.com/news/covid19/.
Community journalists typically love being out in public, talking to people, so interviewing folks via phone calls and email may be tough for us, but we know it’s critical to keep our distance.
We will continue to talk to the government leaders, medical experts, first responders and others on the front lines of this crisis to bring our readers the most up-to-date information, but we will need your help finding stories that help heal our hearts.
Already, we have had some wonderful tips about local businesses giving back by donating gloves and masks to first responders (Lutz Hardware and Riverside Dental); offering virtual yoga classes to the entire community (Body Bliss); assisting other small business owners as they navigate scary financial times (Joseph Orlando with Exit Strategies Group); and documenting the pandemic through photographs of families “sheltering in place” (Lara Blair Photography).
We would love to hear from local families impacted by the school closures. Especially close to my heart (since my own daughter is set to graduate from high school this June) are the stories of Camas and Washougal high school seniors being asked to give up or indefinitely postpone so many important rites of passage.
We hope to talk to medical professionals, first responders and others who are risking exposure to the virus on a daily basis to take care of their community. We are especially interested in talking to folks who have connections to the local senior or assisted living centers.
Are you a natural health provider who might have tips on how to manage things like anxiety or stress using natural remedies at home? A grocery or restaurant worker keeping us nourished? An artist showing their work online or a musician streaming live shows? Give us a call.
And to everyone who is “staying home, staying safe” for the good of the entire community, please feel free to reach out to us with story ideas or questions. For general coverage or Camas-related stories, email email@example.com. For Washougal-related coverage, email reporter Doug Flanagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The coming days may be tough, but we are all in this together. We wish all of our readers a safe, healthy few weeks as this crisis continues to unfold. Stay home, stay safe and take care of each other.
~ Kelly Moyer, managing editor