There’s never a good time to say goodbye.
But now is certainly not an opportune moment. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Alberta has since implemented a number of measures that have emptied streets and closed down schools.
Many luxuries that we had taken for granted—whether it’s going to the library or seeing a movie in theatres—have been snatched away from us in less than two weeks. Groceries stores are filled with pandemonium and panic-buying, while health-care centres brace for a flood of patients sick with COVID-19.
As draconian as some of these measures may appear to some, they are essential for protecting the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, such as obesity or respiratory issues.
We must also practice social distancing and good hygiene in order to “flatten the curve.” If everyone gets sick with COVID-19 at once, the health-care system would buckle from the sheer amount of cases that require hospitalization or even ventilators.
Doctors may then have to face the choice of who gets treatment and who does not. And even those who feel they are “invulnerable” against the novel coronavirus still require good health care. Who will treat you when you get a heart attack or hit by a truck when doctors are swamped with COVID-19 cases? The frightening answer is nobody.
And let’s say we do “flatten the curve” and minimize the death toll as much as possible. What happens after the pandemic is over?
Albertans and Canadians, if not the world, could be facing a recession, maybe a depression. Already having to endure an exodus of companies and numerous energy projects falling through, the province could see hard times akin to those endured in the 1930s.
The future is not bright from this vantage point, and the present is turbulent and frightening, which is why any transition at this moment is all the harder to cope with.
Last Thursday, Chris Eakin left his post with the Post (hardy har har). In a time where newspapers are forced to find efficiencies and make tough cuts, a retirement is a most welcomed hallmark, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
As of this issue, I will be the new editor for the Fairview Post. I also serve as the editor for the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune and the Peace Country Sun.
Taking on another newspaper is certainly a daunting task, but I will be assisted with a new reporter who is expected to start writing articles for the next issue.
In terms of coverage, it will be challenging, given that nearly all events are cancelled and most meetings are now being held via teleconference or Skype.
That doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. The Fairview Post will likely be busy keeping the community up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic. For breaking news, visit our Facebook page. For in-depth coverage, visit our website or pick up a print copy.
Of course, during this trying period, a changing of the guard is more difficult than ever to face and this change with the Fairview Post is no different.
However, there is a bright side. We get to say hello.