There’s one sentiment I’ve heard expressed over and over in the past days, scrolling through social media feeds, in video calls with colleagues, texting with friends: how is it that I’ve aged a decade in the span of a few weeks?
Every minute there’s news. COVID-19 hangs over every conversation, every headline, every Slack comment. If we don’t yet personally know someone who’s been made sick by the virus itself, we certainly know many who’ve been knocked down by the devastating economic shockwave.
The Portland Monthly editors and art directors have watched (and reported on) the unfolding health and economic crises of the global pandemic with the same fears, worries, and stresses as many of you. We, too, rely on our city’s and region’s many retailers, makers, restaurants, hotels, bars, and more to advertise in our pages—and understandably those businesses are now focused on keeping themselves afloat. We’re deeply rooted in this community, and when Oregon hurts, so do we.
In a normal spring, we’d have already sent our May issue to the press. (Yes, we work that far into the future.) But since that would be even more out of date than usual and given how quickly the pandemic is transforming our city, we’re doubling down on digital journalism instead. This is allowing us to cover the stories and people that matter right now: from compiling resources for small businesses looking for economic relief, to answering tough questions about the safety of take-out, to profiling the helpers and the front-line workers, to talking to teachers and doctors about how they're coping.
Our mission hasn’t changed: “to chronicle, challenge, and celebrate one of America’s most innovative cities, inspiring readers to explore and shape the vibrant metropolis we call home.” Our job at this magazine has always been to inform and entertain our readers, to hold our city and state to account, and to shine a light on the best that we are—at a time like this, that seems more vital than ever. We are more convinced than ever of the importance of thoughtful local journalism. And if that's something you value too, you might consider buying a subscription to our magazine. We're going to be here for the long haul.
In June, our plan is to return to print with a resilience-themed issue—a commemoration of what we've all been through and a chance to consider what's next for Portland, after the first wave of this unpredictable outbreak. I am hopeful that by then, we'll be living in a world that allows hugging again. If we aren't, well, I know Portlanders will find a way to surprise, inspire, and challenge us anyway. Until then, please stay home if you can... and if you can't, thank you for all that you are doing.