Editor’s note: The Fort Collins Coloradoan is able to provide exclusive local news thanks in part to its more than 22,000 subscribers. Now through Jan. 4, new subscribers can receive a year of news from the Coloradoan for as little as $39. Support local news today at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.
Honest question, Fort Collins: Was there a time in this awful 2020 when you lost sight of the horizon?
Between the incessant bickering over the election, the constant, bleak toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emotional weight of our country’s fight over social justice and the oppressive pall of the Cameron Peak Fire, did you search for some escape — any escape, really — only to find your options largely restricted or destructive?
I’ve been there.
Whether it was keying in Larimer County’s latest death toll from the pandemic, working that horrible Labor Day weekend when the Cameron Peak Fire made one of its largest runs, or the heartache of telling my daughters that Daddy can’t play because he has yet another Zoom meeting, the past year has overwhelmed with a regularity that I’d not yet experienced.
More than once I’ve considered running away. Selling the house, leaving journalism, finding a new start in a new town because something new has to be better than the weight of all this, right?
But, as it tends to, time to breathe around the holidays provided some needed perspective. Among our Christmas traditions, my wife and I make a point to watch “White Christmas” each year. Call me a sap, but I tear up just a bit every time Bing Crosby sings: “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep counting my blessings.”
Here, in Fort Collins, we are so blessed.
Blessed with abundant natural beauty that has been our refuge from COVID-19. Blessed by strong health care systems that provide our families quality, compassionate care in our most trying times. Blessed with focused leadership that consistently strives for a more inclusive, more just community. And so much more.
No, Fort Collins is not perfect. Our community, like any other, is a conglomeration of imperfect systems operated by imperfect people. But in my nearly nine years in Northern Colorado, I’ve learned that our story is in the striving.
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From our city government’s ethos to be “world class” to Colorado State University’s research to solve humanity’s most puzzling problems, on to our craft brewers’ pursuit of a better-tasting IPA, everyone here seems to be striving to make this special place even better.
Here at the Coloradoan, I hope we’ve done our part to reflect that ethos. In a year full of problems, we’ve worked to highlight solutions. And when the best thing your family could do was to stand by and stay informed, we published more than 500 stories about COVID-19 and the Cameron Peak Fire free to all comers.
Tracking coronavirus:COVID-19 case, death and hospital data for December
While we’ll always put community service at the forefront of our mission to keep Northern Colorado informed, it is the consistent support of the Coloradoan’s more than 22,000 subscribers that has sustained us through this trying year.
Furloughs, staff reductions and closures have dominated the nation’s conversation of local news in the past year. We’ve not been immune to that pain. But today, more people subscribe to the Coloradoan than did at the start of 2020.
So thank you, Coloradoan subscribers, for giving me more than 22,000 blessings to count in times of worry.
In the year ahead, we’ll strive to provide you continued value through a commitment to telling the stories of Northern Colorado’s recovery from the disasters of late.
We’ll continue to provide meaningful accountability work concerning issues of social justice, homelessness and the environment.
We’ll stay true to the values that have made the Coloradoan Northern Colorado’s trusted news source for nearly 150 years.
Most of all, we’ll tell your stories — stories of achieving, failing and always striving.
Thank you, Coloradoan subscribers, for sustaining us through this challenging year. You are truly a blessing.