COVID-19 is still here and not going away anytime soon.

Actually, not only is the novel coronavirus still here, it is worse than ever with more infections, more hospitalizations and more deaths. Families are being impacted, watching loved ones suffer. The pandemic has impacted all of us and presented challenges we never seriously considered. 

We are not insensitive to the fact that the economy and local businesses have also been hit hard. 

When we call on people to wear masks, socially distance, not meet in groups, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizers, we are saying those things both to protect lives and to help us rebound economically. 

No one wants an economic shutdown but if the virus is not contained, that is exactly what will happen and we fear more people will lose their jobs, have to shutter their businesses and suffer in very real ways. 

Wearing masks, socially distancing, avoiding gatherings and supporting the economy are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are the same thing. If we want a strong economic rebound, we must do those things necessary to mitigate the virus. 

We know businesses are suffering. We are right there with you. We get it, and we have been very open and honest about the fact that along with all other businesses in our community, the newspaper has been hit hard. Still, the newspaper is working hard to keep you informed with the latest updates day after day. 

We are offering free email newsletters to anyone who wants to sign up at no charge on our website at https://bit.ly/3arpQWA.

We want to provide access now for people who might not be able to afford the important COVID-19 information otherwise. 

If you are able, and if you believe in the value and importance of local journalism, we hope that you will consider supporting the work we do by purchasing a monthly subscription. Your digital subscription will give you unlimited access to our website, e-edition and daily e-newsletters. For a few dollars more, you can also have the printed paper delivered.

You do not have to agree with every editorial we write, cartoon or column we publish or like the way we cover every story in order to understand the importance of having a local newspaper, keeping you informed, keeping an eye on local government and standing up for the public’s right to know. 

We are checking with government and health officials throughout the day for information on how the outbreak affects you, covering the impact on schools, businesses, restaurants, public events, health care facilities and trying to keep you informed. 

All we really ask is that you consider supporting local journalism by subscribing and if you have a business that is able to advertise and sees the value in it to contact us about helping you market your goods or services. If you are already a paying subscriber or advertiser, we thank you for your business. You can subscribe online at: valdostadailytimes.com/subscriptions/

We encourage you to support other businesses throughout our community as well. Take advantage of curbside and drive-through options, respect workers and help keep them safe by following guidelines, and tip liberally when you can afford to do so. 

Be safe and healthy during these trying times and please wear your mask in public, socially distance, avoid gatherings and wash your hands often. 

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