We’re all affected by the quarantine, Stay at Home orders, health scares and, in some cases, deaths. There are, however, positive takeaways for us to continue observing once this whole thing is over.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA—Let me first start off by saying I am thankful and grateful to have written and edited for this upstanding publication for nearly six years. Sharing news, feature stories and other journalistic items with you since the summer of 2014 has been a pleasant experience. I have grown so much, both as a person and a writer, during my time here – and I certainly hope my words and editorial direction have touched your lives in some way.
Being able to put together a newspaper these past two weeks has made me even more appreciative. We are in unprecedented times. A global pandemic is claiming lives, costing jobs and forcing all of us to alter our behaviors in ways we never imagined possible. Odds are we know someone who either tested positive for COVID-19 or died because of the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely affected The Log – we’re currently running on a skeleton crew. Journalism’s state of affairs during the past five to 10 years has already made it difficult to manage a print publication. COVID-19 has forced meetings to be postponed and events to be canceled, making it even harder for our small staff to bring you the great content we’ve been delivering to you twice a month.
I am writing this column on March 28, still in the thick of California’s Stay at Home orders. It’s sunny outside as I write this – I wouldn’t even be home right now, had this been any other Saturday afternoon. I was actually supposed to be in Baltimore on this day, wrapping up a lunch at the city’s Inner Harbor before heading to Baltimore-Washington International so I could fly back to Southern California.
Instead I spent the past two weeks preparing this issue from the comforts of my home-office. Assembling this issue has given me stability and structure, helping me sustain some level of sanity amidst this insane time. And I certainly hope the stories we are sharing with you in this issue – including this here editorial – is part of your new routine, part of whatever structure you developed to help you get through these trying times.
And this is what I’d like to spend chatting about in whatever space I have left to write here. I usually use this space to give you a few resources on issues likely affecting your daily life as a boater. I’ll pen an editorial, every once in a while, on a significant topic (such as the return of Sea Magazine).
But today I want to reach out to you, not just as the editor of The Log, but as a human being. We seem to be bombarded with bad news every single day. Please pardon me as I deviate, for once, away from boating, for the sake of having a conversation. This is me and you, strengthening our community.
The first 90 days of 2020 alone has been nothing short of a tidal wave of bad news: fires raging across Australia, the death of Kobe Bryant, and, of course, COVID-19.
It doesn’t help we’re living in such divisive times – there are still plenty people entrenched in political warfare, despite the public health threat that is COVID-19.
Through it all, I’ve actually noticed something positive – and it’s on the verge of becoming beautiful (especially if we can sustain said positivity).
Social media, broadcast news and print publications – usually easy target for claims of fake news or germ-spreading negativity – are now common places to find phrases such as “we can get through this together” and “doing our part.” More and more people are checking in with each other, making sure we’re in good spirits and maintaining some level of sanity in a time of uncertainty.
There are lessons we can learn from this period – the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have to be doom-and-gloom. Deaths, loss of work, economic hardships, daily routines disrupted – these don’t have to be the only topics on our minds during and after the pandemic. Let us use this disruption of our daily routines to remind us what’s important: we can truly get through anything when we do our best to co-exist.
These past two weeks I’ve witnessed so many people putting aside political, social or economic divisions (all of which are manufactured) and coming together. We’re supporting each other as much as we can to get through this pandemic.
Situations like this could certainly bring out the worst in us – but it can bring out the best in us, as well. And, for the most part, I believe the best of us is winning. Let’s make sure we keep on winning. Let’s put aside the toxicity of political divisions and other forms of social bickering – and use this life stoppage to recreate a new paradigm, a new world where can civilly co-exist despite our differences.
I could go on and on, but the space in this newspaper is finite – and there is a point where beating the drum of positivity amidst chaos would eventually overwhelm and devalue the message.
Yes, these are crazy times. It’ll takes months, perhaps years, for us to realize how far the ripples of the COVID-19 pandemic reaches. But we can get through it, come out on the other side better than where we were when this started. But that only happens if we sustain the can-do attitude we’re all practicing today. Let’s not let COVID-19 win. Let’s always remember, we’re in this together, today and always.