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Letter from the Editor: 2020 Visions

by on June 01, 2020 1:38 PM

A few observations while looking forward to my next haircut…


  • On a short hike at Bald Eagle State Park on sunny Mother’s Day, we saw a couple of small groups – they appeared to be families – picnicking at separate outdoor pavilions, safely apart. We enjoyed the smell of one family’s lunch sizzling on a charcoal grill as we walked the Butterfly Trail. It was a completely typical scene, at least in any other year. What was striking to me is how sadly atypical it seemed in this spring of 2020.


  • It’s impressive how diligent most in our community have been about wearing face coverings when out and about. On that Mother’s Day outing, for example, we stopped for ice cream at Big D’s Cones and Shakes in Milesburg. The small stand was busy when we pulled in at mid-afternoon (they were kindly offering free soft-serve for mothers). But customers – all wearing masks – kept a respectful distance as they waited in the short line. Only trouble for me was, when we got back to the car, I forgot I was wearing the mask as I brought that first spoonful of peanut butter swirl up to my mouth.


  • Ads for face coverings are all over social media. Soon after officials began advocating the use of masks in April, I did something ill-advised: I ordered a set of cool-looking Boston Red Sox-themed face coverings from a company I’d never heard of that popped up on Facebook. I never do this. I shake my head at people who do this. But six weeks and $50 (including shipping from who knows where) later, I didn't have those masks. And I figured I never would. But finally, lo and behold, the Red Sox masks arrived. Now, if only baseball would follow.


  • Here’s an under-appreciated element of the fallout from the pandemic response: all the parents of younger children who have been working from home while also educating/entertaining their kids nonstop with offices, schools, and many daycares closed. My wife and I got an up-close look at this when we recently visited our daughter, son-in-law, and two young granddaughters in northern Virginia. (We had all stayed home for weeks, so we felt it was safe to visit.) Even with two beautiful, well-behaved kids, it was a true juggling act between Zoom sessions and playing with Legos. Kudos to all the parents – and kids – out there!



Mark Brackenbury

Editorial Director

[email protected]


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