Upended lives and excellent coverage

Be safe, dear friends.

 

Mark Nydell, customer service specialist at HCN, has been holding down the empty Paonia, Colorado, office. He picks up mail and handles essential office functions while other employees have transitioned to work at home.
Luna Anna Archey/High Country News

All of us here at High Country News hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy in these uncertain and difficult times. Here’s what we’ve been up to since COVID-19 upended everyday life.

Across the region in our respective houses, HCN’s writers and editors have been churning out truly excellent COVID-19 coverage, some of which you’ll see in this issue. But then the workday ends, and we’re still at home, unable to leave. And so, we need hobbies. Based on an unscientific poll, there seems to be a great deal of bread baking and garden planting going on in anticipation of warming weather. A lot of knitting is happening: Contributing Editor Elena Saavedra Buckley has learned to crochet and now has more coasters than glasses or mugs. Digital Editor Gretchen King rigged up a homemade Ping-Pong net. Correspondent Leah Sottile has taken to streaming live Twitter concerts using her record player and her intimidatingly cool vinyl collection. People are reading — and trying to read about things besides coronavirus. There are also many staff dogs absolutely thrilled to have their humans around all the time. They (the dogs) hope the current situation continues.

We also have some bittersweet news: We have to say goodbye to Associate Editor Tristan Ahtone, who is taking over as editor-in-chief of the Texas Observer. Tristan helped build HCN’s Indigenous Affairs Desk from scratch, creating an award-winning, nationally recognized team that centers Indigenous voices for an Indigenous audience. He will be dearly missed, and we wish him all good things with his next endeavor. (To the powers that be in Texas: Watch out.)

Regarding our recent feature on “Land-Grab Universities” (April 2020): We need to clarify which tribal nations ceded land in Missoula, Montana, to fund Texas A&M University. That land was originally ceded by the Pend d’Oreille, Salish and Kootenai.

Be safe, wash your hands and check in on your neighbors. And if you’d like to tell us about the coronavirus situation in your community, there’s an anonymous tip line here. We’d love to hear from you.

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