Publisher’s Letter: Attempting “Normal” in Trying Times

Blaine Howerton's youngest son, waiting in line for a vaccination (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

A few weeks before Thanksgiving our family had a scare. My sons, 12 and 8, were in the car with a friend who later tested positive for COVID. His family tested positive too. Shortly thereafter, we were all tested and thankfully, we all came up negative.

Recently, another friend was in a salon where she heard of a large family, that had to cancel Thanksgiving, travel arrangements and all, because one of them, in the holiday destination household, had tested positive.

It took me 3 weeks to get the first available appointment but I just got my booster. Previously, I had stood in line at a mobile vaccination clinic for an hour when one of the technicians came out to announce that they had run out of vaccine, and we would need to wait at least another hour for delivery. And this was with an appointment! Nonetheless, at another clinic a few days later we found a booster for my 8-year-old and scheduled mine…eventually.

A few days ago I was at a Fort Collins hospital for a routine blood test where I was advised that the CDC and the National Guard were there with 150 people getting ready to help with a new “surge.”

For several months including the summer, we got used to relaxed rules. Then mask mandates came back. I found myself walking back to the car, after I had forgotten to put on my mask. Thankfully, I kept my stash from last year! And I’m not alone; I have witnessed many others doing the same. Recently, once again, I noticed empty toilet paper isles at the grocery store. OY VEY!

For the first time last weekend, I was asked for my vaccination card before I could enter a comedy club in Fort Collins. The comedians did an entire skit about living our lives in the time of COVID. They were good and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time but I was reminded that the pandemic, that changed our lives not so long ago, is still going strong.

Most of us know the seriousness of COVID and that even after getting vaccinated we are not out of the woods.

As a Journalist and the Publisher of this newspaper, I have an inherent duty to make sure the public is consistently advised of the challenges and risks that surround us. At the same time, it’s important that we maintain a balance, so as not to unnecessarily frighten our readers. So, following two weeks of a special health section, in this edition, we have included several originally written stories about where it seems we are with the pandemic today. I hope our readers find the content interesting and relevant.

And I am glad that thanks to your support North Forty News is going strong — so we can be there for you every single week for issues just like this!



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