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This is Nick Taylor and Brazil Gaffney-Knox (henceforth known as NickZilla (we’ll take comments on this nickname)) signing on at long last to the Arthur Newspaper editorship team. Before saying anything else, we would like to thank the Staff Collective for trusting us and voting us into this role. It is truly an honour and privilege that we value deeply. Moving forward, we are excited to light this place up with bold yet balanced journalism, socially and politically relevant reporting that represents the interests of our membership, and the Peterborough/Nogojiwanong community more broadly.
Though we have long dreamt of being at the helm of Arthur Newspaper, we never imagined coming aboard in such chaotic conditions. We would have loved to spend the summer rummaging around our sleepy town looking for stories and learning the beat, but it looks like we’re out of luck.
Peterborough/Nogojiwanong is a wonderful place and we have been especially fortunate to get acquainted with the city during the summer months. We were excited to spend another summer attending Folk Fest, Hootenanny on Hunter Street, reporting on the work of community and Trent levy groups like the Trent Vegetable Gardens, and Trent Market Garden, B!KE the Community Bike Co-op, watching the downtown Farmers Market heat up and move outside, as well as keeping up with politics locally, provincially and nationally. While some of these things will unfold, others will not.
This is a strange time. Many things have stopped entirely, but the world spins on – and so does Arthur. This is a time of unprecedented change, and untold ways of adapting, of forging a path forward that prioritizes the vulnerable, of building solidarity and mutual aid with our communities, and of dreaming of a better world entirely. Of course, a global pandemic does not come without its challenges. At the time we are writing this, there are 51 cases of COVID-19 in Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation. Over one thousand people have been tested for the virus, 285 remain under investigation, and 14 are resolved (updated information here). Peterborough Public Health has been diligent in reporting on the spread of the virus and sharing information about the measures we must take to protect one another. They report that the measures being implemented to flatten the curve have been working, and we have slowed the spread and its effects on our healthcare system. The response from all levels of government is ongoing, and many wait to find out how they will be supported in a time where they cannot work. We also know that this pandemic is disproportionately affecting the vulnerable.
It is imperative that we continue reporting about these events as they unfold. Now more than ever we must find ways to connect and stay informed about the issues. Here at Arthur, we are ruminating collaboratively about how to move forward virtually until physical distancing measures cease and we can safely interact in person again.
We are sure that everyone is getting very bored wherever they are stuck for the next, ahem, indefinite period of time. We hope to entertain, and inform you at least a little bit in this difficult time, and we are excited for Arthur to be part of your quarantine experience.
Wishing you health, comfort, and joy during these trying times,
Nick and Braz