As the owners of Boulder Weekly, we wanted to reach out to you and share some thoughts about the crisis we find ourselves in, and what you can expect from the Weekly during the weeks ahead.
Let’s begin with the word, “crisis.” There is considerable debate about whether the health risks associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, qualify as a “crisis.” There are two broad opinions on this subject: 1. Coronavirus represents perhaps the most significant health crisis of our lifetimes, and unless we employ immediate and drastic measures to limit the spread of this disease a significant number of people will perish. 2. This virus is similar in nature to the flu and other viruses in that it is generally not fatal for individuals whose immune systems are healthy; that this situation has been profoundly blown out of proportion, due to its potential for politicization among a government, corporate-dominated culture and mainstream media that habitually deceive the public to achieve self-serving ends; and that the potential financial hardships we are suffering and will continue to suffer are now a far more serious problem than the disease itself.
We are here to tell you two things about these disparate points of view. The first is that both have merit and that it is too soon to know which is correct, or more correct. The second is that it doesn’t matter.
Regardless of which camp you have pitched your tent in, the first of these two approaches to the coronavirus pandemic has been chosen for us. So, whether you believe the word, “crisis,” is an appropriate description of the disease itself, or whether this episode in our lives is a crisis only due to the way it has been handled by the powers that be, we are clearly in a crisis. And it is up to us to address the consequences, as individuals and as a community.
Here’s how we are addressing the issue at the Weekly. First and foremost, as the only independently owned newspaper/media organization in Boulder County, you can continue to count on us to present you with information that is not subject to the kind of deceit that has become so commonplace among those who seek to gather your precious vote and your hard-earned dollars. Our only incentive is to illuminate truth and bring about justice. Our coverage of the coronavirus situation this week in the pages that follow are proof of this.
Because so many of our community partners have been forced to close or limit the scale of their businesses, we will be increasing our circulation in some locations and adding some new locations where you can pick up our print edition. Please rest assured that every copy of the Weekly that we place in a newsstand, rack or other location has been handled with the utmost of care by our circulation team, who will be handling the papers they distribute with gloves, and employing any and all possible measures to ensure the purity of our papers.
For those of you who have chosen to self-quarantine — or simply prefer to read the Weekly online — I want to make sure you are aware that we offer a “digital edition,” which enables you to read the Weekly exactly as it appears in print — including the ads — in true page-turning format. We have had this feature for years, and it will certainly come in handy during this period of “social distancing.” Check it out at BoulderWeekly.com, where you will find a special button at the top of the home page, as well as in several other locations.
The current writers, editors, designers, bookkeepers and account representatives at the Weekly are simply the best we have ever worked with, and their well-being and the safety of their families is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, we are in the process of transitioning to a fully telecommuting model, which we hope to have implemented by the end of this week. This means that our South Boulder offices will be open only during limited hours, beginning next week. We will, of course, continue to respond to phone calls and emails.
How we react to this crisis will serve to define our community for years to come, as the survival of many small businesses is at stake. Now, more than ever, you have an opportunity as a member of the Boulder County community to “vote with your dollars.” Please consider the struggle of the wonderful locally owned businesses in our community and patronize them in any way possible. Many local restaurants and cafes are still open for carryout business, and their survival may well depend on your support during this challenging time. The Weekly published a list of these businesses in last week’s edition, and we will continue to update you as the list grows.
Most importantly, and we cannot overemphasize this, try to remain calm and steadfast in your resolve to deal with these challenges sensitively, positively and patiently. It was just six years ago when a flood of biblical proportions threatened our community, and we not only survived that event but came out stronger than ever. The same will be true in this crisis. As difficult as the weeks ahead will be, there is much to look forward to — like the July 10 and 11 Dead & Company shows at Folsom Field — and if we stay together and support each other with a true community spirit we will get through this and grow stronger because of it.