The Saratoga Sun -

The rapid pace of change


March 25, 2020

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment with everything that’s been going on recently?

Well, you’re not alone.

When I left the office on March 13, I probably should’ve taken the hint that it was Friday the 13th. The biggest thing on my mind was finishing up an article on the workshop held by the Town of Saratoga with James Childress and auditors from Carver, Florek and James. In a 48-hour period, that all changed.

While the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was on my radar as cases were confirmed in Wyoming, my concern at that time had only been to speak with businesses about possible changes to how they would operate. That and try and see how much this run on toilet paper was affecting the Valley. As the weekend progressed, however, I spent more time putting breaking news on the Saratoga Sun website than actually working on the articles in my queue.

My Sunday went from talking with Marie Christen, owner of Sweet Marie’s, about her concerns to getting the notification that Governor Mark Gordon and State Superintendent Jillian Balow had recommended that all schools in Wyoming close until April 3. Approximately an hour later, I received the notification that Carbon County School District No. 2 was following those recommendations.

My wife and I spent the evening talking about what our options would be for child care. At the time, we still believed that she would be working at the library and I, of course, would still be doing my job. Not even 24 hours later that changed as well with the notification that the Carbon County Library System would be closed until April 6.

It was just amazing to me how quickly things were changing. It still amazes me.

Over those next few days, I did what I thought was right. Despite there being other issues I needed to report on, my belief was that my community needed to know just how much this virus was beginning to affect day-to-day life in the Valley. As government buildings closed their doors to the public and restaurants altered their business plans, life was changing by the hour.

On Tuesday, as we worked to put the finishing touches on the paper, I had to edit articles I had written the night before with updated numbers on confirmed cases of COVID-19. In less than 24 hours, the confirmed cases jumped from three to 10. I commented on how strange it felt putting out a newspaper knowing that the information could be outdated by the time it hit newsstands.

I wasn’t wrong. By the time the March 18 Saratoga Sun was on newsstands and in the mail, Wyoming had confirmed five more cases. As I’m writing this, the Cowboy State has 18 cases and that number is sure to rise by the time the March 25 paper is published.

We here at the Sun are attempting to retain some sense of normalcy in all of this. This newspaper, after all, has been around for over 130 years and has served as one of the constants in the community. At the moment, our doors are open to the public and we are here working. That’s not to say that I am judging other businesses, including other newspapers in the state, for closing their doors to the public and working from home. 

On the contrary, I completely understand why they are doing it. There may come a time when we may have to make that decision. That decision may come between the time I’m writing this column and the time it’s published. After all, things appear to be changing by the hour.

It is okay to be concerned. Don’t feel like you shouldn’t. 

It’s also okay to feel like you may be both overreacting and underreacting at the same time. There is this weird sense of normal as we watch entire countries and states go on complete lockdown. I, for one, am certainly struggling with that feeling.

As this pandemic, and it feels weird to say that word in 2020, makes its way across the globe I don’t think I’d rather be anywhere else in the world than the Valley. As I watch people look out for each other and businesses work to support each other in these uncertain times, it helps keep my faith in humanity.

We’ll need more of that as time goes on.


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