As more and more workers are being told to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus, we here at the News Tribune are no exception.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
As more and more workers are being told to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus, we here at the News Tribune are no exception.
We closed down the office we have only been in for three weeks and have been working from home. It has definitely been an experience, and our productivity in putting out pages is definitely at the mercy of our internet speed - both at home and in the office.
When our parent company directed us to work at home, we were told this method of operation would be our “new normal” and to be prepared to operate that way for quite sometime.
“New Normal.” It is a term I have heard other businesses and agencies use to describe those of us who are fortunately able to continue our work despite not being able to go into an actual office.
It is not necessarily a term - or situation - that I care a whole lot for, but we must all do our part to try to squash this bug, or at least keep it from taking over our world.
As always, our staff works together and gets it done … just like so many of you out there. It is our duty, but also our privilege as your hometown news source to get as much information out there as we can to help you navigate this unsettling situation as best as we can.
I have been in this business for a long time, and I remember covering several other events which were quite devastating and life-changing in nature.
The West Virginia flood of 1985. The space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1989. The Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
And now, the coronavirus of 2020.
As I work on stories and share information with you through both our website and newspaper, I hear a lot of fear and negativity, but I am also hearing more and more stories about cooperation and kindnesses that have brightened people’s days in these uncertain times.
One thing I have heard so many wonderful comments about is how the employees of Mineral County Schools have stepped up and reached out to our kids in so many ways.
I have seen Facebook posts from teachers offering to help with homework or to help parents come up with ideas for some in-home extra learning.
I have seen posts by people from all walks of life inviting kids to tune in and listen to a book being read … some of them even incorporating character voices to make it even more interesting for the kids.
Some area restaurants, although hit hard themselves by the ban on dining establishments and bars, are nevertheless still offering specially priced or even free meals to area students to make sure they don’t go without.
And then there’s the school system itself, which has gone above and beyond to reach out to the kids with food, homework, and a chance to connect with what was once their daily lives.
On Monday, the schools starting handing out take-home food for those students whose family members could stop by and pick it up.
Thursday, thanks to the teachers, staff and volunteers at the schools, the county started delivering take-home food and homework packets to the bus stops.
According to superintendent Troy Ravenscroft, over 2,200 bags were delivered. And for your information, that translates into 4,400 meals because the bags contained both lunch and breakfast for the next morning!
And speaking about stepping up in tumultuous times, I cannot praise Superintendent Ravenscroft enough for his leadership in this unprecedented situation.
I cannot imaging being thrown into such open-ended turmoil when he has not even been on the job for a whole year yet, but I have really been impressed with not only the leadership he has displayed but also the compassion he has shown for the county’s students and employees alike.
He has been periodically posting information on his Facebook page (dear keyboard warriors: his page is an example of a source you can trust!) to keep everyone in the loop, and it has been helpful to me to keep up with everything and not have to bug him on the phone every day.
One post really reached out to me, though, and that was his personal message to the county’s seniors, whose last year of school has been devastated by a worldwide event.
He shared with them his experience during his senior year in high school, in 2001-2002, and how his and his classmates’ lives were changed forever on Sept. 11.
“Everything changed in an instant,” he wrote.
As tragic as the day was, however, Ravenscroft said it “galvanized our people,” and although today’s circumstances are very different, he says, “Our people have the same fortitude as they did then.
“In the coming days,” he advises the seniors, “look for the positives, watch as the good shines through, and know you’ll be part of a special group who weathered a unique storm.”
Thanks, Mr. Ravenscroft, for your leadership, compassion and wisdom.
We all need to keep you words in mind as we move forward into the unknown.