Even though he feels just fine, the coronavirus has not been kind to STL author Jim Merkel.
But the kickoff event for the book's debut, originally set for April 11 at the St. Louis Public Library in downtown St. Louis, has been postponed.
"Along with everything else in the country," Merkel said of the postponement. "We'll do it later, but that doesn't help now."
Now add the fact that two publications for whom Merkel worked recently as a news reporter — the Webster-Kirkwood Times Inc. and the Northsider/Southsider — have stopped printing newspapers due to business shutdowns.
In the past, he also has written for the Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journals and other publications.
"If it's been published in St. Louis, I've probably written for it, and this is the fourth time I've been laid off," he said. "But I'm not worried; good things are ahead."
Merkel, a graduate of Webster Groves High and the University of Missouri-Columbia, lives in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis.