As we slowly edge our way through this pandemic, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that we need to be patient with each other, and especially patient with those we do business with here on the Coastside. Decreased hours, shoestring staffs — we’re all trying to get by, to make do.
I found myself starting to complain last week about my new eyeglasses having to be sent back because the prescription was wrong, then taking longer than expected to get fixed. The doctor apologized and explained that his wife
had been trying to run the business end of the practice from home and that he was down to one office staffer as the other was out sick due to COVID-19. Then it was my turn to apologize.
It isn’t “business as usual” yet, and I think, as we approach the one-year mark of this pandemic, that’s easy to forget. The first month of the pandemic there was a sense that we were all in this together. We asked our checkout clerk at the grocery store if they were OK, and we were sincerely interested in the answer. We tipped big and expressed our gratitude when we picked up our food to go. We made big “thank you” signs and left them on our porches for the delivery drivers. Many of us even howled every night at 8 p.m. as an act of unity, something I’ve all but forgotten almost one year later.
At the Half Moon Bay Review and Pacific Tribune, our business has been impacted as well. Many of you have noticed and wondered why there are fewer pages and fewer sections than before the pandemic. The answer is twofold. First, certain sections we had before, like sports pages and some community and events pages, have been put on hold until after the pandemic, since many events have been put on hold. Secondly, our page count has always been based on ad support, and many of our advertising partners are spread thin and doing all they can just to get through this period.
The good news is we are nearing the end of this. We have our full staff; we have plans for new, exciting pages in both newspapers and a redesign planned for the Pacifica Tribune. We spent the last two months designing and launching a brand-new website for the Pacifica Tribune (pacificatribune.com) and start this week on a refresh for the Half Moon Bay Review website. We’re making gradual improvements every month to our monthly Coastside magazine, which now goes to subscribers in both the Pacifica and Half Moon Bay markets. We’ve used this time to trim the “fat” from our newspaper pages, to get rid of filler ads, to tighten them up into a lean machine so we can gradually begin to grow the pages as we come through this pandemic in the next few months.
We are grateful to our readers and our advertising partners. Even a year later, we still believe we are all in this together, and that we will come out of it together — stronger.
Debra Hershon is publisher of the Half Moon Bay Review and Pacifica Tribune.