The coronavirus is hitting our community hard, even though there are no confirmed cases in Jackson County.

None of us is exempt from the economic repercussions of the pandemic, and none of us is completely free of risk from contracting the virus. And when I say us, I mean all of us – me, you, your family, your friends, local businesses, and your hometown newspaper.

We are all in this together, and together we will get through it.

 As individuals, we should take the advice of medical experts, continue to work as hard as we can at whatever it is we can do to stay productive, and take care of ourselves and those around us.

Here at your hometown newspaper we are trying to keep our thinking simple. We know this story is of huge importance and we intend to cover it as such, day after day, until life returns to normal. Efforts to control the spread of the virus – aside from impeccable hygiene – include measures that are disrupting our normal lives: closed public schools, closed movie theaters, postponed weddings, cancelled civic events and countless other closings. While those disruptions are necessary for the health of our community and nation, they are creating a gigantic challenge to many local businesses.

We know that firsthand.

In the past two weeks, our advertising partners have faced unprecedented threats to their businesses and activities. As they have responded, many have canceled or reduced advertising, which is the lifeblood that supports what we do. In what feels like a strike of lightning, we have transitioned from feeling healthy and ambitious to something very different. Today, we are steeling ourselves to the difficult choices we may soon face.

At the same time, we are determined to make sure we define ourselves as an asset to our community in this time of need.

To that end, you no longer need to be a subscriber to read our coronavirus-related content. Just go to maqnews.com and click on “Read more local coronavirus news” at the top of the page.

In the past few days, we have posted dozens of items, including information about how school leaders are working to get food to students, a list of restaurants providing carryout, how utilities are working with customers to ensure service and other useful information.

As the current situation changes, our coverage will change with it, whether it be advice from medical professionals or simply how neighbor can help neighbor.

We also want to help you stay connected in this time of social distancing. We can help you do that by inviting you to share your thoughts and feelings with others. If you write a letter and email it to dnamanny@bellevueheraldleader.com, we will publish it.

Before this crisis, when technology and other factors battered the newspaper industry, I remained convinced local newspapers still had a place and purpose. I never dreamed I’d experience anything like what we’re experiencing today, but I’m proud we – with your help – have built a hometown newspaper that can and will help the community get through this crisis, no matter what.

Please remember you are not alone. If there comes a time you feel as if you are, remind yourself we are all experiencing these hardships together.

Reach out to friends and family. They will be glad you did.

And as you take care of yourselves and each other, we’ll continue to bring you information about resources that can help you during this time.

This crisis, like those of the past, will eventually be relegated to history, but for now, we must live through it, and we can accomplish that together.