Teri Vance: Community finds ways to connect, despite distance
Each weeknight my sister and her young children watch Facebook Live as Dayton Elementary School Principal Leslie Peter reads a storybook then a chapter from a longer book.
“It’s such an outreach of compassion,” my sister Casandra said. “It lets them know they’re still being thought about, and it keeps them connected to something that feels so distant right now.”
It’s just one of many creative ways people across the world are finding to reach out to one another in this time of social distancing —which, to many, feels like isolation.
Individuals and families are coping with orders to stay home from school, work and away from anyone not living in the same home as a means to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Humor, some of it verging on the inappropriate, is helping to lighten the mood that can sometimes feel ominous as we know very little about what’s to come.
Parents are struggling to find ways to keep their little ones education but also entertained while confined to their homes.
Julie Keller started a program for her children.
“I knew I needed some motivation so I started a health challenge with my family,” she said. “Daily points for doing healthy stuff like exercise, drinking water, avoiding treats, and doing a mindfulness activity like meditation. I’ve offered gift cards to whoever has the most points at Easter … and if I win, I finally get to buy myself the AirPods I want.”
Her community is also getting involved.
“My neighborhood is starting a pen pal program for the kids in school so they have something to look forward to (mail) and a way to connect with other kids,” she said. “But most of all the funny memes help.”
Carson City native and young adult author, Heidi Ayarbe, who lives in Colombia with her husband and children, posted a video on her social media page showing completely vacant streets and the sounds of cheering and applause.
She explained, “Every night in Colombia, at 8 p.m., people go to their windows and clap for all the medical personnel who are on the front lines.”
Grace Greener is on hiatus from Carson High School and said she finds reprieve in watching old movies.
“I love that I can go back 30-40 years by watching a good movie to maybe a little saner time in my life,” she said. “We have to escape from the 24-7 Coronavirus coverage, to maybe think that when we wake up tomorrow life will be back to normal. Whatever normal looks like for each of us. So pop some popcorn put in a good movie and remove yourself from reality for awhile.”
We are each finding our own ways to face the unique problems this virus and the subsequent quarantine have brought upon us.
One of the most difficult aspects of it is that the outcome is unknown. It is the first time we’ve encountered this.
Heidi Brandow draws strength from previous plights we’ve overcome as a nation.
“It reminds me of post 9/11 when we were once again one American family,” she said. “We will get through this.”