Today marks an important moment for the Spy. After 427 days of reporting daily on the status of the Mid-Shore’s COVID cases and other essential data points, we have issued our last report in this edition.
With the unsurpassed dedication of the Spy’s public affairs editor, John Griep, the Spy began its daily reporting in April of 2020. No one could have anticipated that this sometimes tedious crunching of numbers would be a commitment spanning 14 months, but we are very proud to have been a critical resource for our community during this very dangerous moment in Eastern Shore history.
Our discontinuation of daily reports is by no means the end of our coverage of the pandemic. Working with our government and health partners, the Spy will continue to provide timely updates on the course of the disease. And if conditions change, such as the possible threat of the new Delta Covid variant of the virus, we will return to our daily coverage in a New York moment.
This decision to end daily reports was one related to resources. By forgoing the COVID report, we can free up staff time to focus on some issues that may have been overlooked during the pandemic. That has been particularly true in the case of our coverage of public education, our Chesapeake ecosystem, local government issues, and other health-related concerns.
With the Spy’s limited capacity as a nonprofit news source, we will always need to make hard decisions about how we spend our limited funds. We do hope, however, that will the support of our 685,000 unique readers a year, the Spy can expand our ability to focus on the issues that have the most community impact.
And that is why the Spy will once again ask our readers to support us next month. While it remains a painful task to use pop-up ads to encourage donations, it is essential to the life of the Spy to count on those that can financially help our mission to provide access to community news for everyone without a paywall dividing those who are informed and those who aren’t. Speaking on behalf of the Spy’s editors and writers, we will be forever grateful for this critical support.
In other news, we are so grateful for the return of one of the Spy’s most popular columnists, George Merrill, last Sunday. George will be moving to a fortnightly schedule for the duration of the summer, but we have hopes that he will return to a weekly routine this fall.
We have also allowed Al From and Craig Fuller to have two weeks off this summer starting this Thursday. Like the Washington pros they are, they both will be vacationing on Massachusetts Islands this month, but we expect them back on July 15 with their political wisdom and wit.
With gratitude and with warm wishes for an enjoyable summer,