The weather has been a mess as of late, and while sometimes it gives us a rest, it also crowds what looks like an already busy spring schedule. Last spring, though, was a far different one than I have experienced as a journalist. I will never forget how the whole world shut down and daily routines changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has been terrible and some families have lost loved ones, which everyone regrets. Many historians are linking the current era to the World War II era when a big worldwide event -- then a war and today a pandemic -- dominated all aspects of life.

But like all major occurrences, some positive changes will come out of the pandemic.

The Class of 2020 high school students lost out on many traditional activities, namely the prom, spring sports, and the spring musical, while also undertaking a different learning routine. I think the schools and community did a good job replacing some of those traditional activities with new ones the students seemed to enjoy -- especially the driving parades and graduation service. It was different, but I think students will have good memories of a time that will likely be bookmarked as a historical one in America.

However, as bad as the pandemic has been, there may be some valuable lessons students will benefit from as their generation hits the workforce. 

I think the biggest one is flexibility. The pandemic forced a lot of changes in business, society and in everyday routines. With regard to the Internet and international economy, those people who can be mobile, flexible and creative are going to be the rewarded employees. Sometimes valuable lessons sprout from hard times. I think the pandemic, although it has hurt the big economy, will help it to evolve in the future. For example, Internet concerts are now popular. Again, these shows may have started because of a need, but in the future, they may be a good financial sideline and marketing tool for the artist -- especially in the winter.

Vinton County has a good crafters’ base and the increase in e-commerce trade -- which was growing before the pandemic and has been elevated by it -- may help them find new markets. Internet merchandising is about interests, more than brick-and-mortar locations, so finding markets means having a good association with likes and interests. You make the connection and a major carrier does the shipping.

Also, the working-at-home sector has grown significantly. This work option may be a good choice for families struggling with home and work responsibilities, for a student working his or her way through college, or for those with a second job.

No one loves history and heritage more than myself. It is one of the reasons I love the Markay and the Moonville Tunnel, but life moves fast and is always changing. I hope students can take what they learned through the pandemic and make their lives better.

                                                                   

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On the other hand, some traditional activities may be returning. It appears as if a prom, spring sports, and graduation will take place in 2021. The Vinton County High School Drama Club is going to have a Musical Revue from the 1900s to the 1990s, but will probably have a limited attendance for an audience.

The Wild Turkey Festival is nearing and we have not yet heard whether or not it is taking place. Because it is the first weekend in May, the Committee should be releasing information soon. One area event, the Festival of Flags in Oak Hill, is set for a full festival on Memorial Day weekend. The Dogwood Festival in Piketon, which is held in late April, has been canceled.                                                                    

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There are several stories in the hopper as we await the Sheriff’s Office move, a Hotel McArthur renovation update, and the replacement of a bad culvert on U.S. Route 50 in McArthur later in the summer. Besides The Telegram, Vinton County news and information can also be found on Main Street TV’s Morning Show with Jennifer Ratcliff weekdays starting at 9 a.m., where Telegram Editor Pete Wilson includes stories and pictures from the county in his newscast. It is often a good way to get overnight police information and emergency news. He has also spotlighted tourism ideas and meetings. Tune in at 9 a.m. on Spectrum 1020, Facebook (Main Street TV), on 105.3 FM or the Total Media Radio App and choose 105.3 Fox Sports.

 

                                                                   

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Finally, a tip of the hat to the Lady Vikings’ basketball team which has amassed a 20-1 record this season. The players, staff and head coach Rod Bentley have fought through cancellations, rescheduling and other issues to post such a fine record. Another pandemic change that may aid the Lady Vikings is the addition of home post-season games until the District finals. Special years for teams often are few and far between and this has been one of those years. Their team goal is winning the District finals. All Lady Viking post-season games will be broadcast on WYRO 98.7 FM and the total Media App. A special article about the Lady Vikings will be appearing soon. 

Stay warm and spring will be here soon.