I’m on the mend from that nasty breakthrough case of COVID-19 that settled upon me last week, and boy do I have a bad case of COVID Cabin Fever.

This weekend, I’ll be in the clear to do my job the way I like to do it — by being out and about in the community.

I’m not a good invalid. Never have been. I’m the person who only took off two weeks from work to have a baby by C-section. I only took two weeks off from work to have a kidney removed. I pretty much live by the rule my parents lived by — if I’m breathing, I can work.

I realize just how very fortunate I was to be able to breathe through this COVID experience. So many people have wound up hospitalized, or in need of oxygen. Constantly monitoring my blood oxygen levels is a new thing, but I checked mine every 30 minutes or so with my handy AppleWatch. Most of the day I was tapping that app on my watch and shoving a thermometer in my mouth, waiting for confirmation that the fever was gone.

While I had/have one of the more mild cases of COVID-19, I’ve got to say, this stuff ain’t no walk in the park. I was able stay at my home computer for a regular work day, but my brain was pretty mushy by the end.

I’ve been so very blessed, though, to be able to work from home — and with the help of friends and neighbors in our communities, hardly miss a beat.

This pandemic has just been brutal for our local businesses, as they try to keep staffing levels open. Before I got sick, I had sympathy for so many of our service-based businesses that had to reduce hours, and sometimes even shut down for a time because people were quarantined, or sick, or left the job.

But it’s not just sympathy. I know how it feels. The Daily Clarion is right there in that boat. Our office is closed to the public to reduce the risk for our staff in getting sick. Reporters are out and in touch with the public. We try to stay away from one another, so that if one person’s sick, we don’t lose all our reporting capability.

I’m recruiting for an open reporting position at the paper, and it has been quite a change from prior hiring experiences. It always takes a few weeks to hire and train someone new, but when the recruiter can’t meet candidates because of COVID-19, the process really gets bogged down.

Thank you all for your patience and for being so cooperative in contributing news photos during the time I couldn’t be there myself. Every single day, when I’ve wondered what I could rustle up for art, God has seen fit to put me in someone’s thoughts and they’ve contributed photos.

Last week I was having a bit of a “fit” at home, unable to attend the big event kickstarting the renovation of Greek’s Candy Store. I’d managed to cover many of my beats via Zoom or call-in connections that week, but there was no way to achieve that for an outdoor event.

I asked for some help (I’m the one who hates to ask anyone for help on anything!) and everyone delivered, in a timely fashion that allowed me to get that story with photos in the paper. It was probably the fever, (that’s my story, anyway) but I almost teared up in gratitude.

Hopefully, heading into the next week, I’ll have my sea legs, and I can be out on the job.

For that time when I couldn’t — thank you all for being my hands and feet and eyes in our community.


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