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The Day community begins moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Together, we made it through a year we won't forget.

Here at The Day, with most of us working remotely, our team found a way to tell stories none of us had imagined.

We decided early on to provide coronavirus coverage for free, since this was a public health emergency and our community needed to know how to respond.

We asked questions at Gov. Ned Lamont's briefings and reported the findings of local and state public health experts. We brought you the sad news as the virus burned through nursing homes, and watched to ensure our government was responding appropriately to protect some of our most vulnerable community members.

We covered the heroic efforts of schools and community groups to get food to families who were struggling. We reported the virus' impact on local businesses, from the largest employers, Electric Boat and the region's two casinos, to small businesses like the Irish pubs that had counted on St. Patrick's Day business to get them through the year.

And we told you the heartbreaking stories of Those We Lost.

Just this month, The Day was recognized for its outstanding pandemic coverage by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.

When, in the midst of it all, a historic social justice movement erupted after the death of George Floyd, we attended protests and vigils and tackled the complex issues of systemic racism and police accountability.

You helped make all of it possible.

When businesses closed or cut back, and our advertising revenues shrank dramatically, we partnered with the Local Media Association to conduct an emergency fundraising campaign. We asked for your help, and were astonished and grateful when you donated more than $88,000 to help us with pandemic coverage. The messages of encouragement you sent along with your donations bolstered us all year long.

We used the funds to publish a special graduation section, since most in-person ceremonies were canceled. We purchased laptops so that staff could perform their duties from home. We bought new video equipment to replace old and outdated cameras as we ramped up our livestream coverage of high school sports to bring the games to spectators who weren't allowed to attend.

Lately, we've been writing a lot about the rollout of the vaccines that promise to help us return to some semblance of normalcy, including the role played by Pfizer Inc. in Groton. We're starting to think about life beyond the pandemic, when we anticipate hosting in-person events once again and covering more assignments in person.

We've decided it's time, as of Monday, to put the paywall back up on our coronavirus stories as we strive to recover financially and contemplate our growing dependence on digital subscriptions. A digital subscription is ordinarily $17 a month, but we have an introductory rate of $9.99 a month. Nonsubscribers once again will get access to three free stories a month.

"We're still feeling pressure," said Timothy Dwyer, The Day's publisher and president. "Our revenues are coming back slowly, but they're not where they were a year ago. We'll continue providing extensive coverage, and we need you to help us fund the cost of our journalism."

We're in it together, and thankful for your support.

Karen Florin is the engagement editor for The Day. You can reach her at k.florin@theday.com.

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