Our last printed edition dropped the first week of March and it seems so long ago. Since then we have learned the words social distancing, flatten the curve, pandemic, and quarantine. All new words to our vocabulary. We watched our country come to a halt almost over night. No restaurants, no bars, no churches, no beaches, no parties, no Easter, no haircuts and no sports. The last one hitting our home particularly hard.
In our portion of the world we saw businesses close and cancel advertising immediately. We were in Cedar Key the day the Arts Festival was cancelled and that was just the beginning. One after another festivals and events cancelled throughout the region. A ripple that turned into a wave. No visitors, no money – simple as that. A majority of the area we cover is consisted of small towns and communities. These events, scheduled once or twice a year, are relied on by many businesses and individuals. To lose one is hard, to lose all of them is devastating. But I have faith.
This is a tough part of Florida and these residents work hard. They shake off adversity and keep going. We know that because we started our magazine back in 2016 (right after Tropical Storm Hermine). Although it was barely a tropical storm the area was hit hard by flooding. What transpired afterwards was that the region banded together to help each other out by cleaning, feeding and rebuilding. It was an amazing sight. That spirit is out there, not only on The Hidden Coast, but in our great country. Its been a long two months, but I know we will all come together, like we have done countless times before, and help each other to the finish line.
We will not print a May/June edition. Instead we will continue to promote this beautiful area all online. We will keep updating our website and social media and creating AdWord campaigns to let people know “we are ready, when you are ready.” Our fingers and toes are crossed that we will be back out on the streets in July with our next printed edition (Just in time for scalloping season).
In the meantime stay safe, stay well and we will see you soon.