Our community has responded to the COVID-19 by taking advice from none other than singer-songwriter Harry Styles. In the second to last song on his newest album, Styles encourages us to always be nice to one another. During a time as difficult as this, I’ve been pleased to see an outpouring of support from members of our community. This pandemic has reminded me of how caring people can be. The way we have come together as a community to get through a difficult situation has been heart-warming and inspiring.
I’ve been especially surprised by the kind things I’ve seen people saying on social media. One instance that stuck out to me was when Whitey’s, where I work, made a post on their Facebook announcing they would be closing due to the pandemic. I was expecting the response from the community to be negative. I thought people would be angry that their favorite ice cream store would no longer be open for business. However, I was wrong. Upon scrolling through the comments on the post from Whitey’s about the closure, I saw an overwhelming amount of support and understanding. Dozens of customers recognized that closing was the responsible decision, thanked the company for keeping their employees safe, and promised they’d return to stores once they reopened. On the last few nights Whitey’s was open for business, they received numerous praises for how well their employees handled the long lines and how busy the stores were. It makes me happy to know that when Whitey’s reopens and I go back to work, I’ll be met with kindness and support from loyal customers, rather than anger and hostility.
I’ve also really enjoyed seeing all the support and love coming from the “Adopt a Senior” campaign. It’s been sweet to see the sweet gifts and packages sent to the class of 2020. The family who “adopted” me have sent adorable themed baskets that have been so well-thought out and creative. One, yellow and filled to the brim with lemon-flavored snacks, had a note attached that read, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Another was themed to the school I’ll be attending next year, the University of Iowa. It made me so happy to receive so much Hawkeye gear! These seemingly small things have made a world of difference. They’ve lifted myself and so many others’ spirits, and given us a reason to smile.
Seeing our community come together in such a dark and uncertain period has been really amazing. At a time when it’s easy to only see the negatives and only think of ourselves, our community has responded with only positivity.“Maybe we can find a place to feel good, and we can treat people with kindness,” Styles sang these words, and our community has done just that. Though this quarantine hasn’t been ideal, it’s comforting to know we’ll always have support to get through difficult times like these. I’ve been reminded of just how kind people can be towards each other.