This is the week that was…weird, but not in a fun way

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

Well, it’s been a week.

Between the sheer joy of dealing with hackers who briefly locked me out of these sites (thankfully, I was able to quickly recover things and build a digital moat around the server — which hopefully will defend it better) the emergence of a new COVID variant and Dr. Memet Oz declaring his candidacy for U.S. Senate, it’s been a lot to digest.

We’re all exhausted by COVID, but even before the emergence of Omicron, we were going to see a spike in cases, thanks to the Delta variant and folks still refusing to get vaccinated and wear masks in public. Now, most of those who are COVID deniers aren’t Chester County residents: we have a very high percentage of county residents who have gotten at least two shots (and seem to be rushing to get their third booster shot — based on how long it takes to get an appointment these days).

Still, the next couple of months are going to be a challenge – as new numbers showing the county with a new spike infections highlight. Again, we just don’t know what the impact of Omicron is going to be, so I’m basing this just on how Delta continues to spread.

We’re not going to see shut downs and closures as we saw in the spring of 2020 — we have a much better handle on the virus and how it spreads.

Sp, here’s the deal: when you’re out in public, but inside, wear a mask. Yeah, yeah — I get it, no one likes it. But be smart, masks work (ignore the junk science people cite as an excuse for not wearing them). Masks slow the spread, it’s a fact. Earth is round, gravity is real and masks work — anyone telling you differently is lying or wildly misinformed.

And yes, we should keep having kids wear masks in school. I’m personally tired of the drama kings and queens claiming that masks are some sort of awful burden for students. For the most part, kids don’t care and are fine with wearing masks inside, especially when the adults in their lives set a good example. And it keeps schools open.

More than 900 Chester County residents have died from COVID. That’s not fake, those are real lives. Sadly, we’ll likely lose a few more. How many more is largely up to you and how you behave.

Frankly, most of us are getting tired of the selfish jerks who keep battling any containment measures for COVID — they’re literally the reason we’re seeing yet another spike in cases.

There’s not much we can do about people who don’t care if their neighbors, friends and families get sick or even die — shocking as that fact is.

All we can do is keep on plugging, get boosters and wear masks in public.

It’s smart. It’s considerate. And it is the right thing to do.


Every time I think politics in Pennsylvania can’t become more surreal and less reality based — it does, and Dr. Oz running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania caps what has been a wacky run up to the 2022 elections.

Dr. Oz is a long time resident of Cliffside Park….New Jersey. It’s an area I know well as I worked as newspaper reporter and editor for publications such as The Hudson Dispatch (RIP) and The Herald-News (which I think is still published in zombie form by Gannett).

And yeah, a lot of people will shrug — Oz’s issues make him seem likely to fit in with the pack of GOP candidates for U.S. Senate. It will be interesting to see whether there will be a race to the bottom to become the most “Trump” candidate in order to win the primary, only to then get obliterated in the Philly suburbs in the general (Trump is slightly less popular than food poisoning hereabouts).

The gang of GOP misfits running for Senate and governor make former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett seem like John F. Kennedy (for the record, while one could disagree with Corbett, he was decidedly sane, answered questions arguably better than our incumbent governor and at least tried to work across the aisle — despite often being sabotaged by the GOP legislature).


The hacking thing is on me — I knew I needed to beef things up in terms of server security when we moved to a faster server earlier this year, but it never made it to the top of the list of the many things I need to do to keep this joint running (yes, I do everything from Web development, to ad building, to editing and writing — it’s the only way to make this business model work). 

I’m hopeful that the new steps (and $$) invested in keeping the server secure hold off any future attacks — but when you use the world’s most popular publishing platform, there’s always someone looking for a backdoor in to cause havoc. So, it’s a matter of keeping my fingers crossed and being more vigilant. 

I’m super thankful for our readers and advertisers, all of whom showed a lot of patience while we worked to fix things up.

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