I was looking at the paper one day last week and the thought struck me — is this “the new normal?” If so, maybe it’s not so bad after all.

The paper — the Oct. 7 edition — had a mixture of good and not-so-good news, as you would expect, but the general impression I got was that there are a lot of local people doing good despite the difficulties brought on by the pandemic.

For instance, Attleboro High School Principal Bill Runey asked the school committee to change the address of the new high school, now under construction.

The school is on Rathbun Willard Drive, next to the old high school, but when the project is done next year and the old school torn down, Runey proposed that the semicircular driveway leading to the main building entrance be formally named Blue Pride Way.

Runey said he wanted to show appreciation to the many people who worked to bring the school project to fruition. This should do it.

I was also impressed by the efforts of Council on Aging Director Melissa Tucker to get city officials moving toward establishing a new senior center. That’s sorely needed and realistically it will take several years to become a reality.

Drawing from a nearly 100-page study, Tucker documented the needs of a burgeoning senior population in Attleboro. With people like her taking a lead role the city will continue to move forward, particularly in the downtown area where the outmoded senior center is located.

Some of The Sun Chronicle’s stories have their genesis in social media postings from official sources. I used to think this was an end run around an independent press, but now I see it as an adjunct, at least as regards local government.

These postings bolster community relations and sometimes are laced with humor. The Wrentham public school system promoted its ninth annual charity softball game between school staff and the Wrentham Police Department. Proceeds will go to a scholarship fund, and the outcome of the game was not a factor.

The school staff reminded those attending to bring their baseball gloves to catch the home runs that were sure to be hit by the cops.

We hear all the time about how social media has ruined lives, so I was cheered by a letter to the editor from Donna Sprague of Taunton, formerly of Plainville. She was reacting to the sudden collapse of Facebook, which turned out to be for just part of one day last week.

She originally feared the worst, namely that “my childhood friends and all the amazing new friends I had made over the years suddenly might never be in my life again.” So Facebook can be a good thing for people.

Also on the Opinion Page was a wonderful column by a registered nurse from North Attleboro who founded and leads a nonprofit organization that works to aid those with rare diseases. Julie Gortz, R.N., has such a disease herself. You could look up her story. It’s inspiring.

Finally, I want to put in a plug for a mayoral debate to be held at 7 p.m. this Thursday. It’s sponsored by The Sun Chronicle, Double ACS and the United Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Many places have lost their local newspaper, but the Attleboros still have theirs, plus a cable TV station. Impressively, candidate debates are still part of the mission.

The new normal seems to me a lot like the old normal. It’s based on long time traditions, with local people adapting to changing realities and doing the kind of good works that have always been done. They’re not going to be stopped by having to wear a mask.

NED BRISTOL is a former editor of The Sun Chronicle.

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