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Virus threatens more than health

These are indeed scary times.

Every day we hear about new threats by the unseen enemy: the coronavirus.

Just yesterday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak extended the order for people to stay at home and for schools and nonessential businesses to remain closed until April 30.

That also means we need to keep our distance from friends and family, as well as avoid any type of public gathering through the end of the month.

This follows in the wake of the president’s order Monday to extend social distancing guidelines through April 30 in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Worldwide, the virus has been contracted by more than 918,000 people. It has killed 46,069, but the good news is that many more have recovered — 193,350 people as of noon Wednesday.

News cases are reported daily, which is why these drastic actions are being taken to “flatten the curve.”

Not only does the virus threaten our health, it also threatens our livelihoods. For however long nonessential businesses remain closed, they lose income.

Nationwide, millions of people have lost their jobs. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the latest forecast predicts that 19.8 million jobs will be lost by July, bringing unemployment rates across the country into the midteens.

Even businesses that remain open are hurting economically. They have tried to adapt their operations, cut hours and cut staff while trying to keep their businesses afloat and their workers employed.

We, here at the Boulder City Review, are among those “essential” businesses that are struggling with the times.

In this era of uncertainty, it is our job to keep you informed, to present the facts. But, we, too, face losses in revenue as local businesses that advertise in the paper have pulled their advertisements. We can’t fault them. There’s no reason to let people know about store hours or specials when there are none.

Fortunately, for the time being, the owner of our company believes in our mission. Other newspapers throughout the state and nation are not as fortunate.

Many community newspapers in Nevada have ceased publication, including those in Mesquite, Eureka, Reno (News and Review) and Mineral County.

Other publications have cut the number of pages they are printing or their frequency. Some have moved to an online platform in an effort to save money.

Industry trade magazine Editor and Publisher reported earlier this week that one company alone suspended print publication of 60 local newspapers.

Additionally, staffs have been reduced and journalists are being asked to take pay cuts or being furloughed until times are better.

While some suspensions may be temporary, the odds of many of these publications returning to their previous state are dubious at best. The industry has been struggling for years as people turn to other types of media to get their news.

For now, we will continue to publish. We hope that when we emerge from this crisis, the community will also believe in our mission and continue to turn to us as a trusted news source.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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