"Binge-watching Netflix to self-distancing at meetings" by: Mike Reddell

   We binged watching Netflix last weekend, joining countless millions of Americans doing the same thing.
   In truth, Jessica and MaLinda watch. I semi-doze throughout, then the girls get put out having to catch me up on developments.
   After a while, I rose from the recliner resolute in my drive to get some things done.
   After feeding the dogs and cats, I return triumphant to the recliner.
   I think we’re all caught in a feeling we stepped into a Twilight Zone episode, waiting for Rod Sterling to step forward saying, “Imagine if you will, an entire world caught in the grips of a pandemic…”
   Since we print the Sentinel from our house, we’re already sheltered in place, other than grocery shopping and covering the few news events that require personal appearances.
   Interestingly, city council’s meeting Tuesday night, March 24, was teleconferenced with video streaming.


"Self-distancing slows life down more than I expected" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, since I’ve been self-distancing myself for nearly two weeks, I’ve been working on a playlist between news updates.
   Currently, it’s full of a variety of songs ranging from new wave and rock to county and alternative.
   I mean, if it truly is the end of the world, how can I express that best in music?
   At least, that’s what I ask myself when browsing my extensive music catalog.
   I also don’t stop at songs just in English and pursue a number of other languages like German, Japanese and Spanish.
   At the same time, we’re spending more time together at home than usual.
   And by “we” I mean mom, Mike and my brother David.
   It’s definitely been an adjustment having him back home, that’s for sure.
   But, we’re fairly lucky his job in IT allows him to work remotely form home.
   For what that’s worth, its kept mom’s anxiety lower because she doesn’t have to worry about him in Dallas.


"Finding our way through the darkness before the dawn" by: John Sample

   Years ago I used to watch the Twilight Zone on TV and last week on a road trip to Alabama, I lived that show. 
   We are entering a new period both financially and socially. 
   The markets moved back to levels that we have not seen since 2016. The Trump bump is long gone. The question is where we go from here. 
   I see this ending faster than most predict. 
   The real problem is the cure will be worse than the disease. 
   We will see an enormous number of families with no savings pushed into financial ruin. 
   I understand that we must stem the spread of the virus but the cost will be huge.The stock market will serve as a measure of what is happening, but individuals in small towns are the soldiers who will be the casualties. 
   We are in the middle of a two-three week period before the number of cases reduces. 
   People already are restricted to their homes trying to work by means of the internet. 


Know the 4 uses of cash

   It’s important to have cash available for your everyday spending and the inevitable rainy day. 
   But to contribute to your long-term financial success, you’ll want to follow a more comprehensive cash strategy.
   First, you’ll need a few months’ worth of living expenses in a checking or cash management account to meet your everyday spending needs, such as your mortgage, utilities, groceries and so on.
   You can also use cash to establish an emergency fund to pay for things like major car repairs or a new furnace.
   You’ll want to keep the money in a liquid, low-risk account.
   And if you have a short-term savings goal, such as a wedding or a vacation, you might want to set up an account specific to this goal to prevent dipping into everyday spending or an emergency fund.


"Viewpoints about life today from all ages of community" by: Betsy Monico

   What my local community is grateful for: I suspect yours may be the same! 
   Cristal - Thankful for my family, friends and Thankful for our health
   Jan - So many things, but today I’m grateful that my husband and I enjoy being together!
   Everything, having a family, a house and being alive. Airen age 11
   “My family, a place to live, and food.” Aaron age 10
   I’m thankful for life, health, strength, family, and most importantly for God’s unconditional love for humanity, TGBATG, Karen 44
   Angie - People who are willing to put themselves at risk for the well-being of others, a healthy family, hardworking people who come together during difficult times, and seeing GOODNESS in people.
   Amy - My 6 year boy’s extra hugs, kisses & I love yous since we are stuck together so much! My teenage daughter’s willingness to help around the house (probably because she is bored - but I’ll take it) 


"An essay about life in a Corona vacation" By Steven Reis

   EDITOR’S NOTE: District Attorney Steven Reis is well known for his Christmas stories.
   In this story, he tells about shopping in the time of quarantine.

   “Keep your distance!”
   She said it without a smile as she pushed her shopping cart through the aisle.
   The 40-something-old dour-faced woman directed it to a lady who was working the gardening area of WalMart. The admonished worker stopped abruptly, let the shopper pass, then went about her business. She flashed me a smile (unlike the severe shopper) as I entered looking for marigolds.
   I watched the shopper’s back as she navigated her way into the main store.
   “Seriously,” I thought, “YOU came to WalMart where half of our small town have to shop and then chose to be rude to someone who HAS to be at work…”


"How to observe, but not harm, Matagorda County sea turtles"By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   When you think of sea turtles, do you think of tropical islands and clear, blue waters? 
   Do you ever associate these charismatic creatures with Matagorda Bay? 
   A lot of people may not realize it but- yes! - We do have sea turtles here in Matagorda. 
   If you’re lucky you might see some green sea turtles swimming along the seawall in Palacios. 
   Albeit a rare spotting- even the endangered, Texas state turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley, can be seen around the Matagorda Peninsula. 
   It is such a treat to catch a glimpse of these marine animals!
   As the sea turtles go about their day searching for food or a nesting area, they sometimes find themselves on the business end of a fishing rod. 
   For a lot people this can feel like a precarious situation; people are oftentimes too nervous to call wildlife authorities if they have accidentally caught a turtle. 


"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. 


"Self-quarantining requires people to have your back" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, I know there’s a little learning curve for citizens to socially distance themselves in the wake of COVID-19 reaching Matagorda County. 
   And there’s been plenty of jokes about it on social media, too. 
   After all, many of us still have to go to work and aren’t able to take extended time off to quarantine ourselves. 
   That’s what “social distancing” is – self quarantining! 
   To be completely honest, I’ve always been a bit of an introvert and have no problem self-quarantining myself at home. 
   Sometimes, I don’t even leave my room and just spend my time reading, crafting or playing a videogame. 
   Close friends of mine are having trouble finding activities to keep their children occupied now that they’re out of school. 
   Plus, districts statewide have suspended sports and extracurricular activities, too. 


What’s the difference between short and long-term investing?

   As you go through life, you’ll have short-term and long-tern financial goals.
   And you’ll need different investment strategies for each.
   So, for example, for a short-term goal such as saving for a down payment on a home, you’ll need to look for low-risk investments, because you’ll want to be pretty sure the money will be there when you need it.
   So, you might want to consider mutual funds consisting of short-term corporate or government bonds, certificates of deposit, money market accounts and U.S. Treasury securities.
   But when you’re saving and investing for a long-term goal, such as a retirement that may be far into the future, your chief goal is to accumulate as much money as you can.
   So, you’ll need a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented investments, such as stocks and stock-based mutual funds, in your IRA, 401(k) and other retirement accounts.


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