Dear Readers,

In the two weeks since Wyoming had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, things have changed so rapidly that March feels as though it has lasted years rather than weeks. 

We could not have known as we were going about our lives on March 11, that everything from how our kids learn to how we do business to how we shop for groceries was about to change. 

This virus and its effects have left many of us reeling. Some in our community have had their work hours cut, others have been told their jobs have been eliminated. We’re nervous about getting ill. We don’t know when things will get “back to normal.”

We are not here to offer all the solutions. We are in the same boat as every family in this community – trying to cushion the economic impacts of social distancing, trying to manage a business, trying to keep our kids occupied and encouraging them to keep up with school work, trying to remain informed but taking care to tune it all out and regain our sanity each day. 

We do know that panic and hysteria won’t solve anything for any of us. In the short term, we must face this virus and the interruptions and disruptions it causes with as much grace, courage and compassion as we can muster. 

We’re grateful for the people who go to work each day to ensure our community’s continued health and safety. Doctors, nurses, nurses aides, EMTs and other medical personnel are at the top of this list along with first responders, law enforcement, firemen and city and county personnel. They’re showing up for work with near certainty for most that they will be exposed to the coronavirus, putting themselves in harm’s way to care for us. Also critical: Those retail workers who ensure that food and needed supplies are stocked on the shelves and that stores stay open. Thanks also goes to truckers and gas stations, without whom, the supply chain would simply fall apart. 

We applaud the quick response from the schools, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Friends Feeding Friends, Buffalo Senior Center, Family Crisis Center and more who nimbly shifted course to ensure that the most vulnerable in our community do not suffer disproportionately during this pandemic. 

The response from our local schools has been nothing short of Herculean. Though they are no longer in their classrooms, teachers are pulling long days to ensure that their students continue to feel connected to the school and their schoolwork. 

Teachers are innovating on the fly as they offer online learning for their students. Thank you. 

In less official capacities, we’ve witnessed high school kids sign on to deliver meals to homebound seniors, neighbors offer to pick up prescriptions for neighbors who should not be going out and lots of local kids decorate their sidewalks with chalk art – an unexpected delight to encounter when such rays of sunshine are badly needed.

In these dark times when so much seems unknowable, take heart that there are still good people doing good things in the world. We can each do the best we can each day with what we’ve got. That means following the medical community’s guidelines for social distancing, hand washing hygiene and staying home at the sign of illness. It means checking in on your neighbors and friends to see if they’re OK. It means buying no more than what your family needs at the grocery store so that other families can buy what they need. It means giving yourself grace, too.

We vow to keep bringing you the news with honesty and integrity. You’ll notice a change in these pages this week. In light of the fact that there are no sporting contests happening, there is not a sports section this week. 

We’ll get through this. We’re in this together...just six feet apart for now.

– Robb and Jen Hicks


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