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Storytelling is based on the word, being an honorable person of integrity is based on your word.
– Jesse Williams  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 8 August 2020  

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Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette
  Publisher

   First, I wanted to recognize a mistake that we made in the last issue of The New Falcon Herald. How we missed this is beyond me — three of us proof the paper three to four times after it has already been edited! Anyway, on the front page of the May issue, we scrolled a message across the front page photo expressing Happy Mother’s Day and honoring soldiers who have died protecting this country. We botched it! The word “honor” was misspelled, and we left out the part about fallen soldiers. Of course, we make mistakes; but, in 16 years, we have never made an error on the front page of the newspaper. Now, compared to everything else that currently is going on in this world, that kind of mistake isn’t so important, but to us it was humbling. I apologize — it won’t happen again.
   
   Now, I want to address the “everything else” going on in this country. The news is simply heartbreaking these days. The number of people waiting in line for food, vast unemployment numbers and an unfathomable number of deaths from the coronavirus are staggering. And that is only the beginning.
   
   I am thinking of an octopus. The body of the octopus is the pandemic and its arms or tentacles represent the spinoffs or byproducts of the coronavirus. One arm symbolizes dissent — we can’t even agree on how to social distance or when to wear a mask, not to mention the political divide in this country. Another arm represents failure — no matter your political preferences, one has to admit the government has been dire in dealing with the fallout from this virus.
   
   Another arm embodies violence. In just the past week, we have watched as a group of men hanged the Kentucky governor in effigy because they felt their Second Amendment rights were in jeopardy, along with their freedoms. Also, that week, we witnessed the death of George Floyd, a black man who was basically choked by a police officer who kneed him in the throat until he died, while three other police officers stood back and watched. And because we’ve had to hunker down in our homes the past couple of months, domestic violence is on the rise. Nothing incites violence among angry abusers like being laid off, stuck all day inside with their wives, girlfriends and kids; and not being able to go to the bars.
   
   Pete Gawda researched statistics on the rise of domestic violence in El Paso County. Overall crimes have declined during the pandemic, but incidents of domestic violence have increased. Sgt. Deborah Mynatt of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said the total instances of crime from March through April 15 of 2019 were 52,384. That number decreased to 43,658 for the same period in 2020. The reverse was true for domestic violence. Between March 1 and May 15 of 2019, 491 cases of domestic violence were reported in El Paso County. For the same period in 2020 the number was 518. A few studies nationwide have indicated that a virus-caused shutdown has been very dangerous for victims of domestic violence.
   
   I am lucky to have been “quarantined” with my best friend (my husband) and my delightful daughter who is a teacher. I’ve learned what is important in my life and who is important. I worry about our future, but I know I have the support to get through anything. I wish that for everyone!
   
   See you in July!
   - Michelle
  
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