Unprecedented. We hear that word a lot in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented shutdown of businesses. The unprecedented closure of schools. The unprecedented forced distancing of neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members and other loved ones. The unprecedented quick spike in unemployment and free-fall of the stock market. The unprecedented run on toilet paper and canned beans and giant bags of rice. Seems one of the few things that grocery stores are not running out of is frozen okra.
Also unprecedented? No quarterly printed edition of the Glen Park News.
Instead of the neighborhood paper being dropped off at your doorstep or left in stacks for readers to pick up at local shops and the library, we’re publishing this edition only online. Driving that decision was the Department of Public Health’s social distancing order. Most Glen Park businesses have been shuttered, or are open strictly for takeout service, so there are few places to drop off the paper. We also didn’t want to put our volunteer cavalry of paper carriers at unnecessary risk when they drop the Glen Park News at people’s front doors.
Then there’s the timing issue. By the time you read this, what we wrote may be outdated. The news is changing by the hour. Printing a newspaper that’s published every three months at this unprecedented period of history just didn’t make sense, when even the daily print and broadcast media are having trouble keeping up with the latest developments.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a Glen Park News. We still have our columns, photos and stories. You can find all of them here, in our traditional layout, only this time in digital format. We expect this to be a one-time situation, and to roar back with a printed summer edition.
You will read on this site about the empty streets, and the shuttered businesses, and the businesses that have remained open to serve the neighborhood.
As we write this, the expected surge of COVID-19 cases has not yet hit San Francisco. At this time, we can only hope (with all hope) that our neighbors will be spared, and those who are sick will recover. As many of us shelter in place and telecommute from home, we want to give a big thanks to those who are working on the front lines—the doctors, nurses and other medical workers, police, firefighters, street cleaners, bus drivers, mail carriers, delivery service workers, grocers, garbage men, construction workers, journalists, cooks at takeout restaurants, nursing home staff and many others. This essential workforce has been amazing.
So, too, have our many neighbors who have been looking out for each other—shopping and running errands for the homebound and checking in with folks via phone and computer to make sure those who have been isolated from the outside world aren’t forgotten.
And let’s not forget, it’s spring. There’s a lesson in this season: rebirth and hope. We will get through this, together. ♦