From the Publisher

Preparing for a pandemic: What we are doing

Mar 19, 2020

The past week felt a little like the frenzied, anxious days that prevail as forecasters track the course of a Category 5 hurricane — while residents board up windows, stock up on supplies and make evacuation plans. But . . .

We know how to prepare for a hurricane. And we know roughly what to expect from a hurricane. How does one prepare for a pandemic? And what should we expect?

We are all finding out in real time.

Like all of you, we at Sippican Week are operating in uncharted territory. Committed to getting news of Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester issues, events and people out to everyone in the Tri-Town, we have been scrambling to adjust our operations. The situation changes by the day, and we will continue to make adjustments, but here’s what we are doing now:

All staffers are working from home. Except when reporters have to go out into the community to take photographs, view the situation or interview people at a socially distant 6 feet, we are doing all our work from home. We’re on the phone, reading and sending email, monitoring a lot of websites – and letting you know what we learn. We continue to want to hear from you when you have news, questions or concerns. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses listed below will connect you to all of us.

We’re putting more emphasis on online news. We’ve always been committed to putting stories on our website before they appear in the paper (if you’re here, you probably already get that). Now, with near-hourly changes in the news, you are seeing more short takes as we tell you things we have just learned and add to that information as needed.

We’re adjusting our newspaper distribution. We know that coronavirus precautions have forced some of our 150+ distribution locations to close and that many of our regular readers don’t feel comfortable going out of their homes to pick up a copy at one of the many spots that remain open. Addressing those separate issues:

 We are continuing to deliver copies to all our regular distribution locations that are open and, even when it requires resupplying on the weekend, we will work to make sure that there are always copies available at our largest distribution locations: 7/11 in Mattapoisett, Lloyd’s Market in Rochester and the Marion General Store and Fieldstone Farm in Marion.

 We are putting new emphasis on our online eEdition, a pdf version of the paper itself. From a desktop computer, click on the new eEdition button in the top right of the home page. On your phone, use the pulldown menu and click on “eEdition.” The news stories will already have appeared on the site, but the paper is our digest of the week’s news – along with a whole lot of ads from local businesses that you will not see online anywhere else.

So please stay safe, keep your spirits up, and keep reading. We’ll get through this together!

Anne Eisenmenger, Publisher (508-717-9799)
Grace Ballenger, Editor (774-305-0232)
Tim Seeberger, Reporter (774-766-7706)