Every year at this time we go through the files of the previous 52 weeks trying to decide what the number one story of the year is and the nine or so subsequent top stories of the year.
This year the number one story is also two through 10.
COVID-19 and the pandemic has taken our way of life away. It has also literally taken the lives of 2,383 (as of Monday) Oklahomans with over 35,528 active cases.
The first mention of the virus appeared on the front page of The Purcell Register in the March 12 issue and has been reported on weekly ever since.
That story March 12 said there was a fear of a possible global pandemic.
The following week city managers from Purcell and Lexington met with PMH CEO/CNO Kem Scully, Jackie Wadley and the PMH Infection Prevention team.
Schools either closed or postponed class work.
Proms were cancelled and graduations were postponed.
We now are requested to wear masks in public. We have gone from students in class in Purcell to A/B learning to fully virtual with drive-through meals provided to students.
There is drive-through COVID testing, no church for many and no visiting in nursing homes or hospitals.
Hospitals are full and front line workers like doctors and nurses are pushed to the brink.
There is limited access to places like courthouses and schools.
There was no trick or treating or taking pictures with Santa or Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army. College and pro sports are played in front of nearly empty stadiums.
As the pandemic has progressed over the months city councils in some towns, like Norman, have mandated mask wearing.
The Purcell Council has gone from suggesting mask wearing to requesting it, coming up just short of a mandate. Mayor Ted Cox has given shelter in place orders.
Washington, Lexington and Dibble turned to The Purcell Register and newspapers to provide their learning and study guides in the spring semester.
For six weeks they sent in work for each grade and The Register prepared and printed the study guides. With the help of superintendents Chris Reynolds at Washington, Chad Hall at Lexington and Chad Clanton at Dibble they were distributed to students and their parents.
Schools were not the only things to go virtual. So did churches, Veteran’s Day Programs and meetings of all types for both business and family and friends.
But as disruptive as the pandemic has been there have been other stories covered by the newspaper this year.
Other top stories were:
The normal annual rainfall for this area is 35.55”.
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