50422264 - journalist. news conference.

By Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot & Review publisher

Happy Monday, readers. Well, sort of, right?

By now, you’ve probably heard that on Sunday President Trump extended the national social distancing guidelines through the end of April. During his press conference, the president referred to projections that showed what would likely happen if the country didn’t follow those guidelines, a grim reality that we are all trying to adjust to. Hours before Mr. Trump’s briefing, we wrote about the data he referred to and broke it down for Wisconsin in this story. The analysis, and the numbers the president are referring to, are sobering, but the one bright light in it all is that our social distancing is indeed flattening the curve locally.

That said, this is a difficult time for people and for businesses in our area. We’re all feeling it.

The first of our election Q&As came out over the weekend, with a look at the mayor’s race in Wausau. If you missed it, you’ll find it here. We planned to have the city council, Weston trustee and school board race Q&As up last week, but we’re waiting for responses from candidates in each of those races. With many people casting absentee ballots, we know time is of the essence. We’ll post them as soon as we have them all.

In case you missed it, we published new guidelines this week for commenting on social media, and we’re asking for readers’ help in making our Facebook community a place for engagement without personal attacks. Read the guidelines, and what you can do to assist us, here.

This week we’ll publish a roundup, submitted by a reader, of some of the great ways people and businesses are helping others in the community cope with our new reality. From a local distillery making hand sanitizer to free painting lessons from a local artist, it’s inspiring to see the community come together in a time like this.

A word about fake news: The amount of disinformation masquerading as journalism that’s circling the internet is astonishing. It can be hard to tell if a story you’ve found is real or not, but there are some techniques you can use. Harvard University put out a great guide with links to some additional resources. You can find it here.

Finally, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who reached out to us this week with words of encouragement as we work to keep you informed during this challenging time. It’s been pretty overwhelming, and we’re so grateful for your support.

Have a great week, friends.

Investigative journalist, music enthusiast, blogger, animal lover, kayaker, knitter, wife, mother.