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During this time of COVID-19, I have decided against running photos of empty shelves and instead deciding to continue reporting the news and not attempting to sensationalize the events around us.

My reporting is not designed to insight fear or hysteria, but scientists and medical professionals across the world are saying that this virus needs to be taken seriously.

But as the federal government continues to be inept about the pandemic our work at the Sentinel is critical, now more than ever.

And now back to your regular scheduled programming.

What a time to be alive?

The governor has ordered all non-essential businesses to close and for people to stay inside for most of April to flatten the curve.

Don’t worry, Gov. Tony Evers has categorized the media as essential and we will continue to bring you the news that matters.

Our office is locked, due to concerns about keeping our employees safe. We are working and are focused like a laser beam on getting accurate information to you.

The news never stops - whether it is about the virus or how the community is handling it. As I told one reader. “We will continue to bring the news to the people until the government shuts us down.”

I was on the phone with another reader when he gave me an idea for a column.

“Y’know, Jonathan, you should write a column on ‘What is an editor?’”

Not a bad idea and I’m always looking for more options for this sliver of the newspaper.

Immediately after I hung up the phone I remembered this quote from Mark Twain.

Twain or Samuel Clemons began his career as a journalist, so he gets it.

“To be the editor of any kind of newspaper, either country or metropolitan (but very especially the former), is a position which must be trying to a good-natured man…. I am not an editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be good, so that God will not make me one.”

But then I was reminded of this quote as well by Twain. Turns out he was a pretty complex guy.

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

This is very true. At my desk, I have a collection of handwritten notes from people I’ve written about, causes I’ve covered or just ‘keep up the good work’. I don’t seek these out, but I do save them.

It’s a wonderful contrast to what I get to read from commenters on Facebook.

“I really appreciate you covering that issue in your column,” on a handwritten note versus “Do you even know how reporting works?!?!” from a Facebook commenter.

So, when the Facebook quotes try to bring me down, I can always look at my wall of compliments to keep me going.