My friends, wear your seatbelts.
Last Saturday, one of our colleagues was in a horrible car accident where someone in the other car died. Our colleague wore a seatbelt and it saved his life.
He suffered some broken ribs and a cracked sternum. But he's alive.
His absence has been a massive challenge in an office where we count folks on one hand. More so, our colleague has worked in Hayward for 40 years as of 2023. He carries with him the history of the area and most families.
Then the region was hit by 18 inches of snow over a two-day period. Power at our newspaper office was knocked out for at least a day. Tree branches, heavy with snow, bent and broke on to power lines affecting tens of thousands of customers.
I went out chasing photos but wifi connection as well. Many public places with free wifi were closed. At one point, my colleague and I holed up in a closed bar so we could post stories about the weather, power outages and warming shelters. We finalized coverage from the wifi at the county courthouse.
We did good work -- one person down.
I often think about the important work journalists do but that's immediately exacerbated by being down staff in a huge story.
But the most important lesson of this last week? Wear a goddamn seatbelt.
Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and seatbelts unto all of you my brothers and sisters.