/Trying to Reason with COVID-19 Season Blog 4

Trying to Reason with COVID-19 Season Blog 4

March 17, 2020. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I am not wearing green, but I am quarantined so you cannot pinch me. You can’t kiss me at six feet distance (please), even though I am half Irish. That’s it. What are you doing today? Me? OK. Mississippi Today has taken up the Slack. Okay, so that’s a joke from dad, but Slack is an online platform that we use to navigate our COVID-19-shaped new world. It keeps us accountable and connected. Our office has been closed since Monday. We are now spread out and working from home and wherever else the story takes us. We are trying to figure out how we can continue our work in this new normal. I miss my office. It is hard to imagine my daily interactions with my coworkers. Their energy is contagious (good, not COVID-19), and I enjoyed taking from it. Yesterday I took this photo of Linden Potts who oversees operations and finances at Mississippi Today. To keep track of all his dollars and cents, he has a NORAD-worthy display set up on his dining room table. Mary Margaret White, our CEO, is a mother to her two energetic and precious children. She has been giving us tips about how to be healthy. The reporters are also creating home offices. But they are getting the story to YOU. Along with yours truly, our engagement team, which includes Sereena Henderson, Elizabeth Hambuchen and Lauchlin Felds, offers new ways to interact. This blog is an excellent example. A COVID-19 landing site has been launched. It contains all our reporting, as well as a survey for readers to help them assess their needs. Alex Rozier is our data expert and makes sense of the numbers using interactive maps and graphs. Eric Shelton will continue to bring us high-quality images throughout the story, with a particular focus on the community’s response to COVID-19. The Capitol team is keeping up with the shortening of the 2020 Legislative session. Bobby Harrison and Adam Ganucheau are reporting on the dispute over the best way forward for the session. Kayleigh Skinner informed us that the state superintendent wants all state testing to be cancelled for 2020, since most classes will be canceled. Rick Cleveland has been monitoring both high school and college sports cancellations, and their impact on your children. Aallyah Wright, Kelsey Davis and Kelsey Davis will share what’s happening in the Delta and education. Erica Hensley is our public health reporter and keeps track of the medical community’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Yesterday morning, while I was sleeping in bed (long story), my Slack messages lit up. All of the newsroom worked together to bring you this story on how the state’s largest employers were reacting to the virus and how it might affect you. We’re not just covering COVID-19. Harvey Parson and Ryan Nave, our editors, make sure we keep up with the news that may get lost in the chaos. Anna Wolfe continues digging deep to find out where TANF funds are going while Michelle Liu’s latest story tells of how Pelicia Hall, a former Mississippi Corrections Department commissioner, is now working for the state’s prison phone contractor. Let’s just say that we aren’t in the office. We are out there trying to bring you stories that will affect you. You are a key part of all this, as well. This is possible because of your generous support (we are a non-profit, after all) and all this coverage is free. We are grateful for your support in the past and look forward to your continued support. Mississippi Today is committed to sharing not only the numbers, but also how they will impact your life. To keep these resources available to Mississippians, I urge you to make a donation. Did you know that all news outlets are allowed to reprint our stories for free? If you don’t see Mississippi Today stories in your local paper, please pass this information along to them. P.S. P.S. Pip is her name and she loves belly rubs and treats. ******* I posted earlier today on Facebook about my son’s girlfriend’s death of her senior year. She is a smart kid, and she understands why we are now social distancing (flattening the curve). But it’s still very emotional for her, 2020 classmates, and their parents. Below are some comments. Do you have questions about COVID-19 Here are a few comments: Mississippi Department of Health offers a hotline for COVID-19: 877-978-64553 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click this link for Mississippi Today’s coverage of Coronavirus.