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Bill Jones, Editor
8:51 am CDT March 20, 2020

By this point, you’ve seen every stupid meme on the Internet regarding the coronavirus. You’ve read all the bad jokes. You’ve read takes on hoaxes, overreactions, underreactions and how this is all the fault of “the media.”

You’ve read the incredibly long (sometimes self-important) posts encouraging people to take the coronavirus and the measures to prevent it seriously. You’ve received countless emails about what your favorite businesses — and one’s to which you’ve just been too lazy to unsubscribe — are doing to stay clean. You believe some. You doubt others. You wonder why some bothered to comment at all.

You wonder, more than anything, what people are doing with all of this toilet paper? And you’ve read every story, every headline, every social media post imaginable on the subject. And you’re no closer to solving the great mystery of 2020.

You’ve seen lines at your grocery stores. You’ve felt the tension. You’ve heard the pleas from those in need to those trying to profit from the situation — or simply trying to quash their own paranoia — to use common sense and leave some things for everyone else. To show some basic decency. You’ve seen too little of that.

And virtually everything on the planet is canceled at the moment: school, work, sports, concerts, any group gatherings, really. You’ve scrambled to make last-minute plans for your children who are now at home. You’ve watched your stock portfolios more than you wish you had. You’ve spent even more time thinking about where things go from here.

You, like many others around the globe, have watched your way of life change drastically in the past week. And you’re exhausted. You’re tired of talking about the coronavirus. You’re tired of thinking about it. You’re just tired.

Maybe it is merciful then that I am here tell you I don’t have a “take” on all of this. Not really. I’ve read all the same stuff you have. I’ve seen many of the things you have. I, too, am tired.

We’ve been providing updates at a blistering level at OPPrairieDaily.com and through social media. I have been managing a hard-working staff of reporters who have done the same in other towns around the southwest suburbs.

This week has carried us all into territory that has accurately been described as “unprecedented.” It has brought out the best in some people, and the worst in others.

So, more than anything, the sentiment I want to convey this week is: Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Look out for the people you love as well as complete strangers. Just be good to each other. What comes next is largely unknown, but those simple steps never hurt.

And we’re still here to tell your stories. Email me at bill@opprairie.com or call me at (708) 326-9170 ext. 20 if you’re interested in sharing yours.