Publisher’s Letter: Will This Be Our Finest Hour?

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

History buffs will no doubt recognize the famous line from the speech of Winston Churchill to the House of Parliament on June 16, 1940 after the fall of the French government. He warned the British people: “Let us brace ourselves to our duties…and if we prevail future generations will say ‘This was their finest hour’.”

Who alive today has ever witnessed a call from all levels of government to mandate conditions that result in social distancing to slow the pace of a proven pandemic?

For many, this will create sacrifices that span from the disappointment of a canceled senior prom to the possible permanent closure of small businesses we have come to know and love (if they too are mandated to close or if their business drops so precipitously that they can’t meet their cost of doing business).

The speed of modern-day international communications permits us to track events in other countries almost as fast as they occur. Our health officials at both the local and national levels have been notified of countries in which COVID-19 has had devastating effects and they are understandably alarmed.

In Italy where locals greet each other with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks, the population tends to be older. The rate of infection in Italy is so severe that their medical facilities and ability to respond to their most critically ill citizens have been compromised. Italian doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions as to where to allocate their limited resources. With their example, we must take all the necessary steps to do our best to ensure that this does not happen here.

As a country, we have been favored in many ways and for many years. The last time the American people were called upon to make personal sacrifices over a long period of time for the national good was during World War II with its strict rationing of everyday items and extended unavailability of many goods.

Currently, even in these early days of social restriction and change, we have seen evidence of the better nature of humankind. On neighborhood message boards, several people have reached out to their elderly neighbors offering to shop for them to decrease their exposure to others.

For most people under 60 who don’t have a serious pre-existing medical condition, if they do contract COVID-19 according to the CDC, their case may well be mild. It’s the elderly and the very young among us who are at greatest risk.

Please become mindful of the need to wash your hands repeatedly throughout the day with anti-bacterial soap whenever possible and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. This basic new routine will go far to protect you and your family.

Please check this CDC link: › coronavirus › 2019-ncov › about › share-facts

for a full list of recommendations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. And please be patient with precautionary closures and cancellations.

Truly, we are all in this together. Look at the ways you can safely keep in touch with your friends through Skype and email messages that go beyond the short messages of texting — who knows, this period in time could result in your becoming a better writer — and THAT could enhance your career.

Stay positive and observe the changes in our local culture as hopefully, we find creative ways to accommodate our current reality to successfully minimize the effects of this pandemic.

If you’re doing something new and creative to address these unprecedented times, we’d like to hear from you to share it with our readers. Send your comments to:

[email protected] or [email protected]



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Blaine Howerton

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