My colleagues and I are still here, trading vapor droplets and gallows humor in the newsroom cubicle farm. Social distancing and community journalism don’t mix. It’s a skeleton crew, well under CDC crowd restrictions, but the background noise is all virus, all the time.

Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti declared a state of emergency, barring public access to City Hall, all fire stations, Weston Field and Weston Park. Some who still don’t or won’t grasp the seriousness of the threat accused the mayor or grandstanding and feeding public hysteria. This reaction is sadly typical of the disease of negativity spread by those who point fingers but won’t lift one to help themselves or others — neighbors who would rather see a hearse in your driveway than a Cadillac.

Cognetti’s decision puts the perpetually distressed city in line for state and federal money Scranton and its neighbors will sorely need in the aftermath of this national disaster. She has been on top of this crisis from the jump. During his benighted tenure, former mayor and current felon Bill Courtright rarely visited City Hall unless he had a meeting with a shakedown target.

The sun is out. Starbucks is closed. My mug is half full. How about yours? Maybe you’re in the office, or at home with the kids. Maybe you’re a service worker, first responder or medical professional. We want to know how you’re spending your days in the age of COVID-19. Email me at or and I’ll share your stories here.

It’s good to be alive and toiling with my work family. We are still here and so are you. We will get through whatever comes next together, one day at a time. Hang in there, and wash your hands.

Also, I finally learned how to spell Purell. It’s right there on the bottle.