From the Editor: How The Runner is Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic

KPU has closed off the second and third floor of the library to the public. (Scott Boux)

Over a very short amount of time, COVID-19 became a global health pandemic, spurring countries around the world to declare states of emergency and urge residents to stay inside. Here in Vancouver, the last week has been a whirlwind of federal, provincial, and municipal announcements, but citizens are feeling it on the ground too. Our neighbourhood businesses are closed. Most schools have shut down and many of us are working remotely. Some have even lost their jobs.

As students at KPU, we may have to readjust to taking classes online. All of a sudden, Big Blue Button is a thing, and Zoom is being used by instructors. Major tests and assignments are being moved, cancelled, and reworked.

The sick are scared of getting sicker and the healthy are scared of getting sick. It’s a scary time, and the future feels unpredictable.

Anyone could have a loved one to care for, whether they’re physically well or not.

And it’s important to remember that people living with mental health issues might be struggling right now. Most of us are feeling the pressure, and coping in a productive and healthy way can be difficult even for people who are mentally well. Reaching out to friends and family has special importance during times of crisis.

In light of all of this, our team has decided to move the newspaper online until further notice. Our staff is currently self isolating, many of us have to take public transit to get to work, and some of us are especially vulnerable.

We also understand that many students, staff, and faculty — our readers — won’t be on campus to pick up a copy due to being in remote classes or quarantine. As you might expect, our contributors are also primarily students. If they aren’t interested in compromising their health to come in for meetings, commuting to campus doesn’t make sense for the staff either.

Instead of printing 1,650 copies of a paper that might not be picked up by students, we’ve opted to post a small issue’s worth of material from now until mid-to-late-April. If you’re itching to read a paper copy of The Runner, our newest issue just hit stands earlier this week.

We’ve tentatively planned our next production for the last week of April. Our editorial committee is closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and is ready to respond appropriately.

Your next update may or may not come in the form of an editorial like this one, so follow us on Instagram at @runnermag and Facebook at The Runner to keep up to date with our social media. While we’re away from the office, we’re still working and are available to answer readers’ questions. Email editor@runnermag.ca to express any questions, comments, or concerns you have.

We’d also like to remind all of our readers, writers, photographers, and artists that we are continuing to accept pitches, give out assignments, and pay for your work. This pandemic has left huge numbers of people at a financial loss, and we are willing to be as accommodating as possible to support freelancers.

And finally, on the topic of money and staff, we’re also hiring for two positions right now: Our community reporter, who reports on constituency-based news and culture, and our production manager, who designs the layout of the paper in consultation with the rest of the staff. Both are paid part-time jobs. The hours and compensation vary, but we’ll be getting those details to you soon via email, Instagram, and Facebook.

We hope you’re all staying safe and healthy, and we’ll see you when things get back to normal.

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