Letter from the Editor

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No excuses, just gratitude

This weekend is Mother’s Day, on the same day that it always falls—the second Sunday of May. It is also National Nurses Week from now through May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday—on the same date that it always falls. 

I think it’s no coincidence that America recognizes nurses and mothers in the same week. After all, we owe our lives to them. Both jobs require painstaking care, compassion, and all-out toughness. 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, both jobs are harder than ever. Many moms of school-aged children became homeschool administrators and teachers in a single day, with no time to prepare. Many nurses were also thrust into roles they weren’t used to, with human lives at stake. There’s been little opportunity to dwell on these changes, and just enough time to adapt. 

An oft-quoted line from Florence Nightingale, credited with establishing modern nursing, reads “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” 

In this issue, we talk to local nurses whose jobs have changed drastically in the pandemic—none of whom give any excuse. 

This week, as always, we’re grateful for the nurses, the mothers, and the mothers who are nurses (we got to interview a couple of those, too!). 

And while we’re expressing our gratitude, Bay Weekly has a few more people to thank. Like many small businesses, we’ve been wading through a disturbingly uncertain financial time. We are proud not to have missed a single week of putting this community paper on newsstands—and online, for readers who couldn’t get to them in person. (Find the digital version at bayweekly.com). 

The generosity of some of our contributors has helped us make it happen. At a time when every little bit counts, we’re genuinely moved by Free Will Astrology creator Rob Brezsny, puzzle contributor William Sells, and our Creature Feature columnist Dr. Wayne Bierbaum (who is, himself, on the front lines of the pandemic as Chief Medical Officer at Bay Community Health). Without being asked, all three contributors offered their services to us for free in the scariest weeks of the crisis. 

We’d also like to thank Bay Journal News Service, the independent, nonprofit environmental publication which supplies us with in-depth reporting on the health of the Chesapeake Bay (like last week’s cover story on the major hit the Bay crab industry is taking due to COVID-19 and a shortage of seasonal worker visas. Special thanks to photographer Dave Harp and the Bay Journal for the striking cover image). 

Finally, we’re grateful for our readers—those of you who take the time to look for the latest Bay Weekly issue when running your essential errands and those who have adapted to reading us online when it’s better to stay home.  

We’ll keep working to offer you relevant Chesapeake news, inspiring stories, and some entertainment when we could also use it. New in this issue you’ll find a fun “How Maryland Are You?” scavenger hunt to do around your house. And you’ll notice that we’re adding a fun twist to our weekly coloring page: if you send in your completed page all colored in, there’s a chance we’ll print your masterpiece in a future issue.  

Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you, nurses.