Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
There are a lot of things about pre-quarantine life that I miss. But there are a few things about actual quarantine life that I miss, too.
Staying in my pajamas all day and working from my couch with my dog, Bella, acting as my only co-worker was bliss. Great support, maximum comfort and nobody to judge me for going a whole day without brushing my hair.
After a while, it did get old, and I missed my co-workers, but weekly phone calls down to the Mt. Pleasant office helped keep the blues at bay. However, the one thing there was no remedy for was getting out and seeing people.
I'm a people person: I like to talk, laugh and listen. I like interacting with people and hearing their stories, and although I couldn't really do that from the comfort of my home, I found a new way to satisfy what was missing.
Everywhere I looked, there were stories of people loving each other. Birthday parades for kids, pen pal programs for shut-ins and loaves of homemade sourdough were all over the news.
The world was falling apart, but humanity flexed its compassion at just the right moment. Nobody was going to get through this alone; we were all in this together.
To be honest, that's what I miss the most about quarantine life: compassion. Nobody was particularly excited about staying home for months, but we made masks to donate to essential workers, grocery stores added senior hours and communities came together to support small business.
Everyone was feeling the effects of the pandemic, but nobody had to do so alone.
I have a sweatshirt that says 'Love Better.” It's important to me for a lot of reasons, but that message really resonates with me when thinking about how we reacted at the beginning of the pandemic.
Back then, we knew how to love better.
Something I hear often from people is that they don't like to read or watch the news because it's too negative. I get that. Sometimes writing the news when everything is negative is difficult, too.
But one thing I remind people is that I don't make the news. I just report it.
When the pandemic began, people went out of their way to let others know they were loved and supported. The news was filled with positive stories and personally, it made my job a bit easier knowing how much good was going out into the world.
Although there are new problems in the world, the pandemic is not over. COVID-19 still is a dangerous virus we need to be cautious of and masks, washing hands and social distancing are still encouraged by health officials.
Although our patience is waning, there still is ample opportunity to do things for other people to spread positivity and create news people want to read.
We are all in the same battle, still. An outpouring of compassion and kindness helped us before and now, more than ever, it can help again.