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Photo/David Yellen

Things are different here at Cigar Aficionado, and we’re sure things are different for you as well. The pandemic has radically changed the way we work, the way we gather and the way we live. It’s been challenging, and it reminds us all of how lucky we were. Hopefully by the time you’re reading these words, things may have begun to change back for the better.

The Cigar Aficionado offices in New York closed in mid-March, and the magazine staff began working from home. We have been pleasantly surprised by how easily we’ve been able to do (most of) what we normally do while working from remote locations. We’re writing, editing and designing stories for the magazine, test-smoking cigars, meeting as a team (with video conferencing replacing face-to-face gatherings), finding out what’s going on in the cigar world, sending out our newsletters and updating our website cigaraficionado.com on a daily basis.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the digital team at the company for making this transition such an easy one. Yes, there are things that don’t work as well from home, but if there’s one thing this pandemic has proven it’s our ability to adapt. And no one dares complain about small inconveniences when so many of our fellow men and women are struggling with far greater challenges.

Our magazine, newsletters and websites have gone out as intended. We made a change to our cover for this issue. Rather than a celebrity profile, you see a message, a proclamation, about a television show of outstanding quality that has been around for decades, a show that has a tone quite different from what you typically see on-screen. It’s a show that seeks to find the good rather than to showcase the bad, and it’s the show all of us need right now. Turn to page 38 to read managing editor Gregory Mottola’s superb cover story.

Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest has been postponed, moved to October 31. The autumn in the United States will be one of reemergence and reconnection, a time when—we all hope—we will be free of quarantine and ready to relax and enjoy ourselves once again. Come join us in Hollywood, Florida, on Halloween for some superb cigars and plenty of great drinks. It will be one heck of a party.

We know this crisis has been hard on everyone, but we have faith. The courage and knowledge of our medical and scientific community will guide us through this pandemic, and bring us on a path to a treatment, and a return to our normal lives.

Be safe and stay well.

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