I just wanted to let you know how we at #ThisIsTucson are planning stories about the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the domino effect of closures, cancellations, postponements and social distancing in our city.
This is especially challenging for our staff because our best work is covering stories that bring the community of Tucson together and right now we literally can't come together.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero has recommended that events with an expected attendance of at least 50 individuals be postponed, adding that the city will not be issuing special event permits for events with an expected attendance of 50-plus people.
At this moment, social distancing and avoiding large crowds feels like the right thing to do to protect our most vulnerable neighbors and our medical resources so we will pause our weekly list of things to do until social life in Tucson gets back to normal. The number of changes to scheduled events and gatherings is changing quickly so we are trying our best to track those and let you know about them.
However, we also know these precautions are really going to impact Tucson's local businesses and organizations. Some of the events that have been canceled or postponed are huge fundraisers for the organizations that put them on or for the local businesses and makers who are vendors there. Some of those businesses and organizations also support #ThisIsTucson financially with their advertising dollars and won't be able to do that this spring. The ripple effects in our community are huge.
We are currently working on stories about ways to help canceled Tucson events and their organizations, how local restaurants are dealing with COVID-19, things to do when you have to stay home, how this will impact schools and parents, what do you do if you think you might have the virus and lots more. But we'd also like to hear from you. What are you concerned about? What do you not understand? What have you heard? How can we help? Fill out this form or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, we know it feels good to have some control so here are some things you can do:
• Become a member of #ThisIsTucson. None of our stories are behind a paywall because we believe this work should be free. We just launched membership this week because we believe in the power of journalism to help people find answers, connect with their community and change things for the better — and that work is costly. If you believe in what we do, your contribution directly helps our team of five local amazing women keep doing this work for you.
• Support a local business through an online purchase or gift certificate
• Support a local organization that had to cancel a show or event by donating the cost of your ticket or asking to move it to a later show.
• Be kind and helpful out there friends. There are long lines at grocery stores and everyone is stressed. Be patient with each other.
We are committed to being a relevant and useful source for our readers, even if we have to do it from home.
Editor and co-founder