I wrote a very upbeat, positive column, then drove to the Gazette newsroom. On the way there, something hit my window and caused a 10-inch crack in my windshield. When I got to my desk, I found my keyboard had not been replaced. That meant I had no E key. I called someone for help. Voicemail. I looked around the room wondering if a Mac user should really use a PC keyboard.
Few people were here, no one could help. No one – except Terry. Actually, I know two very helpful Terrys come to think of it. Maybe it’s the name. Terry called someone and as I was on the phone about the windshield, got me a keyboard.
Technology can fail and we can have all sorts of problems, but when people fail us that is the absolute worst.
Let’s not fail.
If ever there were a time for a community to come together (while staying home), it is now.
Nearly every facet of our lives has changed.
Who would ever have imagined that Wisconsin would close its taverns, that we would have a legitimate excuse not to exercise because fitness centers were closed, that all sports competitions would cease, that gathering together for any reason was not a good idea? And, who is going to color my white hair?
So many things have happened so quickly that I have not had time to worry about all of them.
Consider the short time that administrators, teachers and students were given to begin online learning, which started last Thursday. (Yes, planning already had been underway but starting last Thursday was not part of the plan.) And, we did it! All of us, even parents, are learning about technology, themselves, one another, new subjects and personal work habits.
We, in this new world, are focused on doing what’s important and that is simply doing our best. We are giving new things a try, then trying them again, searching online and phoning our friends.
We must also remember that others, too, are doing their best. We must encourage one another as the Happy Heart Hunt group is going on Facebook. The idea did not come from Milton but someone from Milton put the idea into action. Now thousands of people around the globe are putting up hearts in their windows and doors to inspire others.
How else can we help? What else can we do? Articles in this week’s paper show organizations are looking for help.
Without us, businesses and non-profits do not do well. They need us, they need our funding. Restaurants were only allowed to offer takeout last week. Churches moved to online services and communication.
Just as they are being innovative, we must think of new ways we can help one another in this new world. If you cannot help, suggest someone who maybe can.
Some of us have more work than ever, some of us have none.
Community resources are available and regulations are changing. Learn what help is available and share your knowledge with others.
Social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnecting, as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said on Facebook. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while, a friend, a neighbor, a grandparent. Reach out with good intention but understand that some people may not have time to talk right then and there. Ask, “Am I calling at an OK time? Do you have time to talk?” Keep in mind, for one person an hour is a long call, for another 5 minutes is a long call. Play it by ear. The important thing is that you try, that you ask someone: “How are you doing? Do you have enough toilet paper? How’s your cat? Watched any good shows? Read any good books?”
There are no lack of challenges, but we are in this together, while keeping our distance.
On the Move debuted in February 2019 as the contents of the newsroom at 513 Vernal Ave. was being packed up. By the end of March 2019, what had been home to a newspaper since 1912 was cleared out. For months the news staff worked at Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson laying out the Courier. Today the news staff works at the Janesville Gazette and otherwise works remotely.