As we move deeper into the toasty Coachella Valley summer during this ongoing pandemic, I ask all of you: Please, be careful, and take precautions.
On one hand, June was an exciting month: In many ways, our valley came back to life. Stores, restaurants and bars reopened. Traffic returned to the streets. Tourists are here again—in significant numbers.
On the other hand … June was terrifying. Riverside County and the Coachella Valley are both experiencing all-time highs in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Bars closed back up. The governor, thank goodness, has stepped in and instituted a statewide face-coverings order, because of increasing case numbers—and to give cover to beleaguered local health officials who were becoming the targets of insane anti-face-mask ire.
SARS-CoV-2 is very much still a danger. It continues to spread here in the Coachella Valley. It’s going to claim the lives of yet more of our neighbors. Meanwhile, the now-backtracking reopening process will succeed only if we all do our part: We need to wear face coverings whenever we’re near others. We need to wash our hands. We need to stay home and get tested if we feel ill—and perhaps we should get tested even if we feel fine, too.
Meanwhile, here at the Independent, we’ll continue doing what we do—quality local journalism—as best we can. If you haven’t already signed up for our Daily Digest to be emailed to you, please consider doing so here.
While the business climate remains challenging for the Independent and other newspapers around the country, we’re hanging in there—and we have three groups and entities to thank for that.
First: I’d like to thank our advertisers—new, resuming and continuing. Readers, please thank them yourselves, and give them as much business as you can.
Second: I’m proud to announce the Independent is a recipient of $5,000 from the Google News Initiative Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. Forgive me for tooting our own figurative horn here, but I’ll repeat what I said when we received $5,000 from the Facebook Journalism Project a couple of months ago: Not only is it evidence of the quality work we’re doing at the Independent; it’s a testament to all of the support and feedback we have received from you, our readers.
Third: Speaking of reader support: Nearly every day, we receive at least one payment from a reader who has become a Supporter of the Independent, sending us anywhere from $5 to $500. Thank you to all of you who have supported us; if you’re interested in joining them, go here. When the pandemic has passed, we’re going to all get together for a fantastic celebration—I promise.
As always, thanks for reading—and be sure to pick up the July 2020 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent, now available in more than 300 locations across the valley.