- Derek Carlisle
We make plans and God laughs, the old adage goes. Boy, oh boy, that has never rung truer than in the past few days. Unless you've been living under a Purell-soaked rock, you'll know it's full-blown coronavirus pandemonium out there, with misinformation spreading quicker than the virus itself, and otherwise law-abiding citizens reverting to their most primal selves by punching grannies in the face over the last antibacterial soap pump on the grocery store shelf.
Touching on that last bit (not the granny KO but the other one), please refer to the Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov, and Utah's special COVID-19 taskforce, coronavirus.utah.gov, for verified, up-to-date information and resources.
Since our inception, one of City Weekly's mainstays has always been highlighting events happening around town. That all changed this week. Leading up to this issue's publication, Salt Lake County declared a public health emergency, and venues—including prominent restaurants, bars, movie theaters and galleries—shuttered or severely reduced their hours, leaving performing artists, baristas, servers and other pillars of everyday life drowning in uncertainty (and loss of income).
There's no two ways about it: This fucking sucks. Hoping to provide an iota of distraction while that bidet attachment arrives at your door, we decided to turn on a dime and put together this special issue filled with fun ways to kill time while self-quarantining. Peruse the flipbook version of this week's issue here.
Like most newsrooms around town—and around the country—we can't just dim the lights and call it a month. Cry us a river! But seriously, especially in times like this, a journalist's job is never done. So, if you see FOX 13's Ben Winslow up and about, give him an air high five. Now would also be the time to pledge your support to listener-supported KCPW, KRCL, KUER or show your love to locally made podcasts. Share The Salt Lake Tribune's boffo cartoonist Pat Bagley's poignant panels on your social media. Or, health permitting, stand outside the Main Street-facing windows of KUTV Channel 2's studio carrying a sign emblazoned with the message "Kan't Get Enough of Koelbel!"
Oh, and please forgive any typos. By the time this issue went to press, our small but mighty in-office editorial department whittled down to a one-man operation (yours truly). I suspect decades spent eating lead-laced Mexican candy has somehow made me at least temporarily immune. Stay safe out there, kids. Remember to check in on each other and to practice kindness. Oh, and cover your damn cough.
1. Dust off that Flowbee you have collecting dust in your garage, connect that bad boy to your vacuum and give yourself a haircut. (Worst case scenario: It'll grow back in 14 days.)
2. Not stockpile toilet paper like a jackass.
3. Order takeout or home delivery from a neighborhood eatery you've never tried before. If you can, be generous with your tip. Read a work-in-progress list of restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup here.
4. Purchase gift cards to your favorite shops, restaurants and cultural organizations. Leave one in your mailbox addressed to your mail carrier.
5. Rely on the kindness of strangers. Local authorities have said unemployment benefits will be extended to those who have experienced reduced hours during the current health scare. The process could take a while. Share your Cash App or Venmo handle on your social channels. No shame in that game.
6. Related to the above, seek out your favorite local drag performers and virtually tip them.
7. Care for the elderly, as they are the most vulnerable. Many order home delivery of groceries due to mobility issues, and have not been able to find toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Have some extra? Hook them up. Resources like this Facebook group can help.
8. Call your Mom and tell her you love her. Have a grudge with a family member? Do your best to let it go.
9. You know those Little Free Libraries? Using a plastic storage box, set up a similar operation outside your home but with non-perishable food items for anyone who might need them. Pick one up, leave one behind.
10. Call your legislators! Reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, clean air issues and a slew of other topics that affect your everyday life were just decided on during the past legislative session. Find your representative, and let them know what issues speak to you and your neighbors.
All done? OK, now you can Netflix your life away.
- Ricky Vigil
Ending on a more serious tone, leading up to the publication of this issue, several advertisers understandably pulled out.
City Weekly is an independently owned and operated business. As much as it would have represented a severe economic blow, we could have chosen not to publish this week's issue. Instead, we chose to turn on a dime and put on our bravest—and as evidenced by some of this week's content, silliest—face.
Fighting for the underdog, championing Salt Lake City's diverse arts scene and highlighting events happening around town, have been City Weekly's mainstays since our inception. Many of those art institutions are temporarily shuttered and most events canceled. Still, now more than ever, we are committed to our community and the people and movements behind it that make it tick.
Want to help? Here are three ways you can aid in sustaining our mission:
Pick us up or read us online. If there are any articles in particular that catch your attention, 'Like' them and share them on social media.
Call the advertisers you do see in this week's issue and thank them for supporting independent media in Utah. Once self-quarantine measures end, patronize them with your business.
Finally, consider donating to Press Backers. Every dollar goes toward supporting our day-to-day operations.
Your independent news source since 1984.