The coronavirus pandemic and efforts to thwart it have brought changes large and small, many of which are coming so fast we can’t yet understand them. But it will end at some point – and what then? As the pandemic wrenches our lives out of the ordinary, what long-lasting effects might there be?
As for most people, life for reporters in the state capital has changed a bit in this time of coronavirus.
Forecast a blizzard, and lines predictably appear at the local grocery store. This time the blizzard will last until at least May 4, and it’s hitting the entire country.
Today is the day we’re beginning the virtual version of our Northwest Passages book club and community forums. Though we’re starting with more of the forum part than the book part.
Six degrees of separation is the popular idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections from each other. The term was first used in 1929 – and popularized in a 1993 movie of the same name – to emphasize how closely connected people are all over the world.
I finally viscerally felt that these eccentric days, which had done such violence to routine, would lurch into another gear: Not normal, but suffused at last with a sense that underneath it all, if we stay healthy, these plague days would hold fast to a resilient core of what matters most.
Coronavirus cooperation doesn’t stop all of the partisan brickbats.
When Laura Fish-Leat saw the images of empty shelves everywhere, she thought of her neighbors. Many of the people in her Chief Garry Park neighborhood are older and have health conditions that make life difficult in the best of times.
A newspaper gets used to the idea that some people – mostly bad people – are afraid of us. But not our readers. And definitely not this time. We were told about a handful who recently canceled their subscriptions out of fear of this virus. Both the WHO and the CDC say it is safe to receive packages, including newspapers, at your home.
The waiters, bartenders, cooks and others who work in restaurants and bars are one group of workers who are taking a monstrous economic blow as a result of coronavirus and the measures taken to try to stop it. That’s more than 17,000 people in the Spokane area, and their lives are being upended by industry closures that threaten to change the nature of their industry dramatically – even after the virus passes. Many food-service workers were already in a precarious position, living on thin margins in an industry notorious for thin margins.
Politics, like so many other aspects of life, changes in the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Almost every notice from a campaign or elected official starts with some reference to COVID-19. Some talk about what they’re doing in the city, county, state or nation to fight it. Others talk about what the city, county, state or nation should be doing to fight it, but isn’t.
Parents who played Oregon Trail in the 1990s might want to download the online version for their new adventure in home-schooling. Challenge your kids with properly provisioning a wagon train to make the trek across the unknown. It’s good practice for travel in the age of coronavirus.
No-Li Brewhouse turned its kitchen into a sack-lunch production line Tuesday, and volunteers at Logan Elementary handed out lunches to students and parents.
Maurice Smith stopped by the Cannon Street Warming Center the other day around lunch, just as people began lining up for a brown-bag lunch: sandwiches, chips, a Jell-O dessert cup and a drink. Smith, a documentary producer, and his videographer, D.W. Clark, were there to shoot footage for the third in a series of documentaries they are making about homelessness in Spokane.
This year marks the birth of Gen V, for viral. Until a month ago, going viral meant it was cool. Or so says our almost 10-year-old granddaughter, nicknamed V for Genevieve. Now she says a virus is weird.
The Innovia Foundation made an atrocious decision, one that flies in the face of its stated values of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” The donations to a white nationalist group on behalf of a donor mortgages its well-earned good name.
As the sun sets on another sex-ed freakout in Olympia, a question lingers: Just how malevolent do opponents of sex ed believe teachers are?
Jessica Engelman, who recently founded the grassroots advocacy group Spokane Active Transportation, has a long list of big issues she hopes to combat by advocating for alternative modes of transportation in Spokane. She’s starting with what she calls “the easy thing,” the practical thing, the more immediately achievable thing, the cost-effective thing: greenways.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, would have eliminated the legal requirement that nonprofessionals who witness child abuse or neglect must report it to the authorities.
“Mature Subject Matter – Viewer Discretion Advised” was the warning label on a live broadcast from the Washington House floor this week. The subject was state-mandated comprehensive sex education.
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