About the Connection in 2020
This year, 2020 in the time of the pandemic, has been brutal for so many.
More than 21,000 residents of Fairfax County have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 600 people here have died.
Life is vastly different than it was pre-pandemic. Most students have not been face-to-face with their teachers or classmates since March. Lucky families are merely juggling homeschooling and home child care with telecommuting and meetings via Zoom.
Less fortunate parents have jobs that cannot be accomplished remotely, and they must find a way to have their children cared for at home while they go to work, risking infection. Even less fortunate people have lost their jobs.
Families of all stripes are facing food insecurity and demand at food pantries has skyrocketed.
Thousands of families could be facing eviction.
Small businesses and their employees hope that Congress will deliver more help. The Paycheck Protection Program was designed at the beginning of the crisis to pay employees for two months. Employees face unemployment; businesses face closure and/or bankruptcy. Customers are unlikely to return to retail businesses, restaurants and other public places in sufficient numbers for revenues to rebound until after the pandemic is under control.
Local newspapers, including the Connection newspapers, are facing an existential threat from the combination of nationwide downturn in newspaper advertising that has been worsening over several years, compounded by the economic crisis of coronavirus.
In the midst of this, we at the Connection hear the call to continue to serve our communities. We still seek to fulfill our mission by continuing to publish, even with reduced resources. It’s still our mission to provide information about where to get help and how to help; to disseminate information about the virus and efforts to stem its spread; to tell the stories of those who are helping, of those who are hungry; of those who have gotten sick with the virus, of those who are caring for the sick; and those who are performing essential jobs, from grocery clerk to firefighter to nurses and doctors. It’s still our mission to tell the stories of those working for social and racial justice, and battling income inequality in the time of COVID.
Perhaps most of all, it is still our mission to deliver the local news you need, to help make sense of what is happening in your community, to advocate for community good, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to record achievements, milestones and events in the community and people’s lives. It is still our mission to cover the normal news of the local communities.
We want to know if someone in your family or your community published a book, started a business, became an Eagle Scout, raised money for a good cause, accomplished some feat like running a marathon, supporting a cause or having art included in an art show. We publish photos and notes about personal milestones and community events, including births, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, awards and obituaries.
Tell us: how are you surviving in the pandemic?
We also publish notes about news and events from local businesses. Notes about openings, new employees and anniversaries are welcome.
For many months, there were no calendar listings in our papers. Everything was cancelled. Now there is a return of some outdoor events, and many virtual events. If you are planning an event, we appreciate getting notice at least two weeks ahead of the event, and we encourage photos.
Your community Connection newspaper is published by the independent, locally owned Local Media Connection LLC, serving the suburbs of Metropolitan Washington in Northern Virginia and Potomac, Md. Our flagship paper, the Alexandria Gazette Packet, is one of the oldest continuously publishing papers in the country, beginning publication in 1784.
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— Mary Kimm