When I left the newsroom March 11 — the Wednesday before spring break — I watered my two succulents, Terri and Sammy, and left them sitting on my desk with the hope I’d be able to care for them again in three weeks.
I thought the country might be able to reverse the course of COVID-19 and life could quickly return to normal, but as we all know, so much has changed since then.
Classes were moved online for the rest of the semester. Restaurants shut down their dining areas. Spring commencement was canceled. The entire state of Indiana was told to stay home.
The IDS, however, is doing everything it can to keep readers updated in a world where information seems to change by the hour. Although sports are canceled and almost everything is closed, we still have news to break and stories to tell. We will continue publishing regular content for the rest of the semester.
But there will be one major change: The IDS will not be printing physical copies of the paper through at least May 4 for health and safety reasons.
We want to limit any COVID-19 exposure that might come to our newsroom staff, delivery drivers or readers if we were to continue newsstand distribution. Instead, we encourage you to read from home.
Starting Monday, we will resume publishing digital papers that can be accessed through Issuu, as they are every Monday and Thursday. We hope this will provide a quality alternative for our print-focused readers and help maintain a record of life at IU during the coronavirus.
We expect our next print edition will be the May 8 graduation edition, and we’ll let you know if that changes.
But things aren’t all bad. While our physical presence around Bloomington will decrease, we are doing everything we can to increase our digital outreach and bring you the information you want.
We now have a landing page on our website dedicated exclusively to coverage of the coronavirus, with stories such as our interactive map tracking statewide COVID-19 cases and, if you’re looking for a break from coronavirus news, a quiz that will give you suggestions for longform stories to read that aren’t about the pandemic.
We also started a Facebook group called “Bloomington, IU Coronavirus Updates | IDS” to give the community a chance to ask questions, offer news tips and connect with others. We hope you’ll consider joining.
Additionally, you can tell us about what your life looks like during the coronavirus pandemic by sending 500 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org for our new perspectives series. Do you have coronavirus? Was your wedding canceled? Are you struggling to keep track of time from your childhood bedroom? We want to know it all.
Our daily newsletters will continue, and you can sign up here to get news about the coronavirus sent to your inbox each morning.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com for questions, concerns and news tips — or if you’re bored at home and just want to say hi.
Thank you for sticking with the IDS during this time. We hope you are staying safe and healthy.