Letter from the editor: We will get through COVID-19 with you

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any challenge faced in our community’s living memory. We will persevere with you.

Marissa Payne, Editor-in-Chief

It’s the people, not the buildings, that make the University of Iowa great.

President Emeritus Sandy Boyd’s adage is precisely the sentiment that will get Hawkeyes through the worst public-health crisis we’ve seen in our lifetimes. And it’s you, the people of our community, whose stories will be the thread keeping us connected while we’re physically apart.

As the United States faces the novel coronavirus pandemic, we want you to know we are here for you — and with you.

We share in the pain you feel over the campus we love shutting down and the city largely closing with it. While the structures there may not be what make our university and our city great, those buildings are where we laugh and we cry, where we learn and we work, where we love and find community.

As the United States faces the novel coronavirus pandemic, we want you to know we are here for you — and with you.

We don’t know when those spaces will reopen their doors. Until we can meet there again, and surely long after, your newspaper will be there for you — just as we’ve been for more than 150 years.

Whichever corner of the world you’re in now, whether you’ve remained here or packed up to go home across the country, we’ll let you know how our community is managing through this crisis.

We’ll capture a vibrant Iowa City fallen silent with closed businesses. We’ll tell the stories of our health-care workers standing firm on the front lines of our hospitals to treat sick patients. We’ll report on our government officials making tough calls that may determine whether we lose our lives or our livelihoods.

And we’ll be there to let you know about the good and extraordinary things happening in the midst of this crisis — the College of Medicine students offering to run errands and babysit for health workers, the Hawkeyes signing up to bring food to elderly people who cannot leave their homes, the experts racing to study this virus and move us toward the day when science prevails over this pandemic.

We’ll remind each other of the resilience of the human spirit through these events, and we’ll be there to document those too.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has weighed in on the toll this pandemic continues to take on the economy and Iowans’ health.

“You know, Iowans are scared and they’re nervous, and I appreciate that, but we’re going to get through it,” Reynolds said at a March 27 news conference. “If you keep doing what we’ve asked you to do, we will be back to those good days. So hang in there.”

RELATED: ‘Hawkeyes persevere’: President, provost address UI community amid COVID-19 spread

UI President Bruce Harreld in a message to campus noted that recent weeks have revolved around isolation, uncertainty, and fear for many — but reminded Hawkeyes we are not alone.

“Though this is a distressing time in our nation’s history, together, as a community, we will persist,” he wrote. “Together, as Hawkeyes, we will endure. Together, as Hawkeyes, we will serve. Together, as Hawkeyes, we will succeed.”

Having fact-based, reliable reporting that provides public scrutiny and oversight is more important than ever. Together, across the decades, this newspaper and its readers have navigated horrific events. We’ve rebuilt our campus after the 2008 flood, leaned on each other to celebrate the lives of the fellow Hawkeyes we’ve lost, found unity in periods of extreme political and societal division.

This challenge is greater than any of those, but, rest assured, we’ll be here for you. We will persevere through this crisis. We form a resilient community where people come together to build and rebuild. Let’s stick together, and we will come through this, too.