When the Governor’s hunker down order came, we didn’t know what to expect. Just what is a pandemic like? No one knew, including the people in charge who have to make high-stakes calls. Lucky them, they take the spotty information they have and make wishful guesses about what will happen next. Almost certainly they will be wrong and blamed for something later.
Prosperity was walking Crozet Avenue with a little swagger as spring came on and suddenly the sidewalks went empty. Closed businesses don’t need to advertise, and the Gazette, like them, promptly got a glimpse of mortality. Many store counters where the Gazette is usually picked up were locked up. How should we get the paper around? There’s always the online edition, but the tradition of the Gazette is to be on the street, free for all, with the facts in black and white. Old school roll.
We put out a feeler, wondering if volunteers might deliver the newspaper in their neighborhoods. We were truly touched by the response. More than 35 “carriers” answered and, in a small miracle, almost every neighborhood in town had a volunteer come forward. They have volunteered to carry this issue to the homebound, too, and we thank them sincerely once again.
This is partly a reader tribute to the Gazette and the unifying role it plays in the community, etc., etc., but more deeply it expresses the essential spirit of Crozet: namely, self-reliance and care for neighbors. When you look back at the culture of our town, its vital traditions, what you find are many examples where Crozetians took on their circumstances for themselves. Historically speaking, we do not expect someone else to take care of our problems. A pandemic shows up unannounced and what do we do? We adapt and overcome.
We’ve been driven into our living rooms by COVID-19, and some of us will be sequestered for safety for a while, but friendly, busy, cheerful Crozet is still kicking, still trying to be its best self, as you’ll read in this issue of the Gazette.