It might look like our living rooms, but we are in uncharted territory right now.

Last week, out of an abundance of caution, The York Dispatch managers told our reporters, photographers, editors and page designers to grab their gear and head home.

We’re well-equipped to work remotely, and we’ve done so before. You likely won’t notice a difference; for us, the main challenge will be a lack of face time.

But that is the point: social distancing.

That was a key piece of advice from scientists and medical professionals trying to contain the novel coronavirus sweeping across the globe, leaving thousands dead.

Keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently, clean and disinfect regularly, stay home if you’re sick. Work from home if you can.

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Just days after we set up remotely, much of the country is doing the same, either by choice or by order. Schools also are closed, as are many businesses. Sports are on hold. Shelves are becoming bare. Public gatherings are taboo. The economy is shuddering.

Make no mistake — the precautions are necessary. COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is new. Much about it is still unknown, such as exactly how and how quickly it spreads. We do know no one has antibodies for it, thousands of people are dying from it, and the number of cases close to home are spiking.

It feels like our lives are on hold, and no one can say when they will resume. Yet at this time when we all need support, we’re expected to keep our distance from each other.

The York Dispatch journalists are working to bridge that gap. We will follow the recommendations of our medical professionals and elected officials, but we will continue to gather and deliver the news you need right now.

And it will be free.

Quality local watchdog journalism costs money, and we rely on our subscribers to support that effort. But during this public health crisis — when fast, accurate information can affect the well-being of all of us — our paywall will be deactivated on all coronavirus content on

You can help by sending us tips and suggestions to guide our coverage. Use our contacts page to reach individual reporters, reach out to the newsroom at, or contact me directly at or by calling 717-505-5410.

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