Over the past year during the pandemic, the employees of the Dimple Times have never stopped traveling the roads in the process of getting stories, and distributing the Dimple Times and Pickaway Cultivator newspapers. During that time, we went from the “before pandemic” process of traveling through 4 counties, walking in and out of a couple of hundred businesses and seeing hundreds of smiling faces to over 90% of the places we dropped off at being closed or only allowing drive through due to the pandemic. During normal business hours we would drive around and see empty roads, near empty parking lots, empty stores and even more businesses closed. It sort of reminded us of Christmas day when everything was shut down, but this was not for celebration purposes, and it went on day after day. Places of entertainment like the zoo, movie theaters, parks, playgrounds, casinos and more were closed. Places of worship were told to close down and worshipers told to stay home and worship online. Hospitals and senior homes were closed down from outside visitors. Travel pretty much ceased while hotels and airports were shuttered with very little, if any, activity.
Over that same period we understand that many folks were too scared to go out, visit places, and we were told to stay home unless we were “essential” employees. So for months they saw almost no one outside their immediate household and many times had little face to face interaction with other humans. Once we were able to start returning to some places of businesses, mask were worn, and we were still told to “socially distance” from others.
In some instances the most vulnerable in our society, like senior citizens and those in nursing homes and senior care facilities, were only able to visit friends and loved ones from outside a window, on the phone or via a video chat. Many went through health issues alone, and many more passed away alone.
I’m not really for sure there is a way or word that sums up 2020. Without a doubt, it was different for each one of us, just like our normal lives are different from each other. I know the word “unprecedented” was used more times last year than I’ve heard all the years of my life, but I’m still not for sure how I would describe “2020” other than life changing. No matter what “2020” was like for you, there is always hope.
As we continue to travel around to distribute the Dimple Times and Pickaway Cultivator, it is so awesome to continue to see more and more places open up. Beyond that, it is even more refreshing to be able to see SMILES on faces again!
Image by Anastasia Gepp