Tom Petty was right. The waiting is the hardest part.

This morning, I was on Facebook Messenger chatting with an area woman who is very ill and self-quarantined as she waits for test results that could put a name to her suffering. She hopes it’s not novel coronavirus. So do I.

On Wednesday, the wife and mother agreed to an interview for my column, but changed her mind. She is miserable enough without a phone call from Dr. Kelly. I’m praying for her and her family, and encourage you to do the same. Even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, goodwill never hurts.

We are all waiting. How bad will this get? Who will get sick? When will this end and will we ever return to the “normal” lifestyles we took for granted two weeks ago? Here in The Times-Tribune newsroom, we are working to answer these questions and scores of new ones that pop up like poisonous dandelions daily.

We are tired. On edge. Covering time-lapse emergencies is a novel challenge to ink-stained wretches who live and work on deadline. Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and other tragedies happen quickly and leave readily quantifiable aftermaths. COVID-19 operates on its own calendar, We are slaves to its schedule.

Invisible viruses don’t call press conferences, and can’t be held accountable in the same way crooked politicians and incompetent crony governments are exposed and deposed. We are chasing a villain none of us wants to catch.

That said, we will continue to provide the hard news coverage of the crisis you expect from a community newspaper. We also want you to know not all the news is bad. We are committed to bringing you at least one story of hope in each edition, a warm smile tucked between the cold morning headlines.

Today, it’s the story of Brianna and Brian Rogers, a Scranton couple who refused to let the coronavirus scare upend their wedding. They are the epitome of pledging love in sickness and health. Read Staff Writer Sarah Hofius Hall’s story here.

How did you spend this strange day? Maybe in the office, or at home with the kids. Maybe you’re a service worker, first responder or medical professional. Maybe there’s an unsung hero or someone who’s really struggling in your neighborhood we should know about. Email me at or and I’ll share your stories here.

We are still here and so are you. We will get through whatever comes next together, one day at a time. Hang in there, hunker down and wash your hands. We take it all in faith, we take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part.