Matt Pearl

This week I would like to offer some deserved (possibly overdue) words of thanks to a handful of truly deserving folks.

We continue as a society to work our way through the pandemic, there have been people whose efforts and care have not gone unnoticed.

First off, I need to thank my staff at our newspaper company. People in media publishing were deemed essential, and the folks who help to plan, write and build our three newspapers every week never missed a beat. Some tasks were done from home, but by and large our crew has kept offices running through everything, and I thank them.

Society owes an amazing debt of gratitude to the doctors and nurses dealing directly with those suffering during the pandemic. Nursing home populations have been directly impacted by the outbreak as well, and we continue to send out our best thoughts, prayers and thanks their way.

Many–probably most–of the folks I know saw no stoppage to their work, which in terms of their economic wellbeing was a good thing during COVID-19. I did a fair amount of teaching from home, and one thing I observed, something that really surprised me, was how staying home and away from public exposure to infection actually made me more anxious than getting out and working.

Now I’m sure everyone didn’t have the same experience on that front. For folks who were directly at risk, or perhaps had immune-compromised loved ones at home, I’m sure being able to stay away from others represented a degree of peace of mind. Each to his own.

I for one struggle when I am hemmed in. When something is affecting my sense of happiness or wellbeing, I need to get out into the fresh air, make the rounds, run some errands and keep my routine intact. Anyway, back to thanking people:

Our readers kept us running during a tough time. For some of them, I think getting the weekly newspaper represented some needed normalcy: when social and national media were directed entirely toward crisis and peril, we were able to continue publishing more of our typical weekly content. That was a blessing to us, and we hope to you as well.

The Post Office kept rolling, grocers did their best to keep stock and make sure we were fed, retailers kept items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer when we as a society perhaps overbought such necessities on the front end of this crisis. Lumberyards and banks and cops and city employees soldiered on, as well as hundreds of other folks deemed essential to the cause of keeping humanity going.

We need to thank them. And if we are them, we need to remember as we watch our society move toward our new ‘normal’ just exactly why we kept going; because when pandemics and other such crises pass, we have to have something to come back to.

Most of all, I thank the rational folks who have worked to keep calm and help their fellow person during a tough time. I have seen folks passing out Second Harvest food supplies one car at a time for half the day to keep folks fed, and I have watched courthouse workers waiting at a locked door, waiting to serve citizens at their car windows.

When people rise to meet the challenges of a difficult situation, especially when they do so with the intent to serve the best interest of the dependent folks around them, it is in such moments that we are able to shine as a people.

While conflict and civil unrest dominate the news, I would urge you to remember something important: while the unjustified, even wicked actions of some people gain our attention, we should never forget how many good folks are out there working to do the right thing. Focus on the good and watch the bad start to disappear.

Matt Pearl owns and operates newspapers in King City, Albany and Grant City.