"Journalism in the time of Coronavirus Pandemic" by: Mike Reddell

   I’m proud of the role I play as a journalist today. 
   It’s important to accurately report on events tied to the spread of the awful coronavirus (COVID-19). 
   And I’ve always seen my job as someone who archives Matagorda County history. 
   Certainly the coronavirus pandemic will be part of this county’s history. 
   The sad loss of lives, jobs, businesses, disruption of society in every facet and, in some cases, permanent change are all part of this story. 
   A parallel, of course, is the 1918 pandemic flu that claimed more lives than World War I – or the Black Plaque. 
   We’re recalling the 1918 event on history page for next few editions. 
   When you live in a rural county like Matagorda, as confusing and somewhat overwhelming as this coronavirus ordeal is, most of us several days ago had a hard time thinking we would be swept into this melee. 
   Yet, Matagorda made the top Texas news Monday, when it was reported we had the first coronavirus case in Texas from community spread – the 60-year-old Matagorda County woman hadn’t been exposed from traveling abroad or from someone who had been. 
   Then Tuesday morning, the Texas Tribune, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express, among many other state papers, all were reporting Matagorda County had recorded Texas’ first death from coronavirus.  
   This time, it was a Matagorda County man in his late 90s. 
   At the same time Matagorda Regional Medical Center was reporting that death, it also noted the hospital was treating a second patient confirmed with community spread coronavirus. 
   There are infinitely more wondrous, positive things I would rather be covering, but as a reporter and editor this is the hand we were dealt and people should and do want to know how this plays out. 
   Soon, I hope. 
   It is sobering and frustrating to read on social media how many people still blame all that has happened with the coronavirus response on the press blowing it out of proportion to get at President Trump. 
   This has to be covered. And, honestly, the main thing I think about is the impact on my family and community.  
   It’s happening to us.  
   We’re all concerned to varying degrees. And we’re all trying to adjust to this bizarre landscape. 
   Remember, there are lots of our friends and neighbors out there working to keep our community going and to organize efforts to ensure the disease is contained and people are protected. 
   I was at a meeting last week – before things really starting blowing up – where the men and women in the room were crystal in their individual missions, agreeing to a unified response to coronavirus. 
   Our role at the Sentinel is to be a credible source of information for our readers and the community as a whole. 

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