A lot has happened since our last issue came out in late December.

On Dec. 31, we learned about a new virus infecting dozens of people in Wuhan, China.

On Jan. 21, Washington State announced the first coronavirus case diagnosed in this country.

On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency.

In February, we learned of cruise ship passengers being infected and quarantined. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus was named COVID-19 and spread across Asia and Europe. Italy and Iran were particularly hard-hit.

On March 8, Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Oregon. There were 14 known cases across the state at that point.

On March 11, President Trump blocked visitors from Europe. Two days later, he declared a national emergency.

Concepts such as “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” became part of our everyday vocabulary.

Since then, in Oregon and across the country, events have been cancelled, schools and restaurants have closed, and health care systems are gearing up to expand testing and treatment for COVID-19.

On March 23, Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-12: “Stay Home, Save Lives” — which, as Brown stated, is one “that worked for all of Oregon … that we could ensure that Oregonians in very rural communities of the state, like Adel and Ontario, could comply as well as folks in metropolitan areas.”

Here at The Other Oregon, we commend the governor for considering the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on both urban and rural parts of the state. There are health risks and economic risks to balance when creating directives that restrict our ability to go about our daily lives, and the governor’s guidelines are reasonable and easy to understand.

While it’s hard to see the light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel at this point, I am hopeful that some positives will come out of this crisis. Perhaps there will be a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of locally grown food and locally made products. Perhaps after this period of self-quarantine, we will all nurture our everyday human connections more than ever, in our families, our communities and throughout the state.

The road ahead will be rough. The world’s economies will be changed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. How Oregon comes together to recover is up to all of us.

— Kathryn B. Brown, publisher

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