We interrupted Barbara and Cindy sitting at a table in the park. They had just finished their game of Rummikub and were soaking in the last few minutes of conversation before packing up and heading home. Former co-workers, the pair had found it difficult to stay in touch with the changes that COVID brought to social interaction. Rather than be downcast by the negativity that surrounded them, they found a solution that would allow them the joy of each others' company. They play Rummikub in the park weekly now, an activity they both speak of with eager enthusiasm. It is the highlight of their week, and it never would have happened in another year.
As we talked with people all over town, we found many people who were focused on the negative aspects of this year. Their concerns were all valid. Yet I couldn't help but be intrigued by the shift in the tenor of the our conversation when asked what some of the positives were that had come from this year. The mood got lighter, brighter almost. People's disposition become happier. It was inspiring.
We engaged a couple of gentlemen who were meandering around Main Street. They were at first surprised by the question, then confounded to come up with a positive response. After a few moments of thought, one talked about his job in home remodeling. It had been a banner year. One talked about his excitement of becoming a father soon. They both laughed as we asked if we could take their picture.
One of the greatest repercussions of the year's changes has been that of the time spent with our families. We asked a local family about the benefits they have seen. Amy has never been one to go the negative route with things in her life, and this year was not going to be the exception. "I don't have to look very hard to find the good that COVID has brought into our home. Prior to the quarantine, my husband left very early every morning to beat the rush hour traffic to downtown Denver. Being home since March, he has more time with the kids, more involvement with their school and extracurricular activities, and less time spent commuting on public transportation. It's great that he can help with things like carpool, homework, and teacher conferences. It's been a healthier home overall!"