I was asked Sunday by a younger colleague if I remember a time like this in my past. I scanned my memory for a comparison. I was at our newspaper office in Wasilla, Alaska, when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook our community. In that case, we were in recovery mode. No time for a holding pattern.

I thought it would be weeks before services were restored. It was hours. I thought we would run out of food and supplies in short order. (After all, it’s a challenge to keep the food supply to Alaska coming by barge without interruption.) We didn’t run out of supplies.

I’ve heard Y2K bounced around, but my recollection is that most folks thought it was a hoax and didn’t overreact. There were long lines at the gas stations while some doomsday prognosticators filled their gas cans. And there’s the market crash in 2008 which was a total game-changer for most of us. Slowly we’ve recovered. Some still haven’t.

We were encouraged to go out and put money into the economy. How about 9/11? Nothing compares to 9/11… the world stopped. Fear turned to patriotic pride. The world changed, but for Americans it was a renewed sense of USA and a wake-up call that we are truly living in the greatest country on earth.

COVID-19, however, is different from all of the rest. It can’t be seen except for the symptoms. There’s no enemy to fight and no roads or buildings to be repaired. When our individual worlds stop, we want to blame someone. The national media took the heat early on. If there’s a death in the family, we want to know why and who’s responsible.

I think of the comedian Kevin Hart when his mother died of cancer and his uncle asked him what happened. “It was cancer Unc.” His uncle started to walk away. “Where you going, Unc?” His uncle turned back and looked at him and said, “I’m going to find this cancer guy and kick his butt!”

This is different, and the best thing we can do is stay informed. Educate ourselves on the unknown. Take the advice of those in the know. Sacrifice by delaying our social gatherings and limiting ourselves to human contact as best we can. “Better safe than infected” as I read this weekend in my favorite baseball blog out of Baltimore.

The Montrose Daily Press has been in consistent communication with our community leaders. That information is being pushed to you our readers no matter the form you choose to consume your news. Our reach is the best in our community. Over 4,500 printed newspapers six days a week. On Sunday, March 15, montrosepress.com showed 6,880 users. Currently our daily newsletter is emailed to over 6,100 recipients, and we also have over 13,000 followers on Facebook. That’s followers and not likes. There’s a big difference.

Our commitment to you during this unprecedented time is to continue to disseminate the latest information as we receive it. Our team was on the story all weekend, including Montrose city beat reporter Mckenzie Moore who attended the City of Montrose emergency work session. And while notices are being posted on Facebook by different entities, remember there’s an algorithm and you may or may not see these postings.

On montrosepress.com, find and click the coronavirus tab in orange at the top and you’ll have access to everything COVID-19 for Montrose, and it also includes state coverage. The content there is free — no subscription required.

There is other news happening in Montrose, so if you’re suffering from coronavirus overload, check out montrosepress.com for the latest features, court coverage, breaking news, opinions and more. For $8.62 a month you will be engaged with your community. Hit the subscribe button and it’s easy going from there or call 970-249-3444 and Kyra or Jenny will assist you. Also download our app.

We’re proud to be your source for fair and impartial community coverage. There’s no hype or axe to grind here. If you have any news tips, email editor@montrosepress.com. We’ll stay on top of all things COVID-19 and be here for you. It’s what we do.

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