This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to your local newspaper.
Amid the disruption caused by the new coronavirus, it can be easy to despair. We can feel lonely and isolated, as though the world has thrown us into a dark wasteland with few directions on finding our way out. Even if we’re lucky enough to be healthy and safe, a grim aura pervades.
That’s why we can’t ignore the vibrant sparks of life still fizzing from our communities. Not just in Kansas, but around the country.
We’ve seen local schoolteachers put on parades in their neighborhoods, driving by in brightly decorated cars and waving at their students.
We’ve seen would-be Clark Griswolds decorating their homes with Christmas lights, offering a hearty helping of off-season cheer.
We’ve seen communities stage performances, with various musicians contributing from their porches so that everyone can benefit.
We’ve seen law enforcement officers create their own parades with vehicles, showing support to neighborhoods and offering reassurance.
We’ve seen neighborhoods put on scavenger hunts, so children can get fresh air with their parents, while pointing out items on their lists spotted in various yards.
In all of these cases, we see the opposite of what the cynics among us would suggest.
They would say that a pandemic, that community-wide quarantines, would lead to social disorder. They would darkly hint that riots and looting were on the way. They would say that a global thread would bring out the very worst in all of us.
Instead, we’re enjoying parades, watching glittering lights and listening to music.
And even if we insist on remaining indoors, we can watch world-famous musicians broadcasting online for free, playing their greatest hits. We can watch actors creating impromptu, solo performances. Many online services have offered free access to pass the days.
In other words, rather than an eruption chaos, we are witnessing an eruption of community support and breathtaking artistry. The pandemic may separate us physically, but it cannot undo the connections made through music and art.
For those who may be more practically minded, we’ve seen abundant examples of pragmatic good works, too. Community members have volunteered to shop for one another. They’ve checked in (at a proper distance, of course) on the elderly or infirm. They have donated food to the local food pantry or even volunteered their time to make sure families stay fed.
We are all in this together. We are all supporting one another together. To succeed in our battle against the new coronavirus — which we most certainly will — we must have each other’s backs. That means doing good, and staying positive, to the best of our abilities.
Thanks to all who have kept up our spirits so far and from afar. Your efforts have warmed our hearts.