At the time of writing (20 March), the whole world faces an unprecedented challenge with the coronavirus. We have had far worse plagues in the past but the worldwide impact on daily life and financial stability is new territory. We are in uncertain times for a period, but life will come back to ‘normal’ for most.
In the meantime, let’s be diligent about voluntary precautions to ensure this pandemic doesn’t get a foothold in our country. Surely it’s worth the inconvenience and discomfort of a few weeks self-isolation to shorten the timespan and potentially save lives? And remember to reach out with kindness to neighbours who may need help, especially the more vulnerable.
For the second year in a row, ANZAC commemorations have been cancelled. However, we feel it’s important to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom, and so we chose a local ANZAC story as our lead article. We hope you enjoy the read.
We are very grateful to be able to produce this issue of the Beacon – it very nearly didn’t happen, but it’s important to us to keep publishing if we can, despite difficult times. With virtually every special event and regular community gathering cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 precautions, our What’s Happening pages quickly became irrelevant.
But it was the downturn in advertising that had the most effect. Despite this we managed to pull together a “little Beacon” according to the constraints of our budget. Our grateful thanks to our advertisers.
Many businesses will be hurting right now, but if we can all just hang on, batten down the hatches, and take precautionary measures, “this too shall pass”.
Update 26 March 2020:
This time last week I was working against the clock to get our April issue out. It was to be a much smaller size - a "little Beacon" due to virtually every event being cancelled ahead of growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
Well, I won that battle against time, but not the next one. Unfortunately our April edition which was printed last weekend, is now gathering dust in a warehouse in Wiri. And it's not going anywhere until we are all clear of this virus.
Our distributors, Ovato, tentatively say deliveries will resume around 25 April, but we all know this "new normal" is going to last a bit longer than that.
Fortunately, the April edition could easily fall into the 'evergreen' category. That is, the articles contained in it will still be relevant in a couple of months, or longer in most cases.
We have sent it out to our subscribers by email, and it is now also available online, but will need to wait and see what happens with the print copies. I did manage to personally deliver around 800 copies to retirement villages, and about 100 to Countdown Blockhouse Bay early this week, so there are a few floating about the community.
We won't be publishing a May edition, but will keep you updated with any developments beyond that.
If you'd like to stay updated, subscribe here to my email list.
Stay safe, and stay sane out there.