Teri Vance: Shutdown extended, new normal emerges

It seemed surreal when we were asked to stay home for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of this new virus.

It was something that just hadn’t happened before on a scale we’d never seen before.

But it was nothing.

It has now been extended out another month, leaving a lot of us afraid for what the future will hold. Will we contract the virus? God forbid, will we lose anyone we love?

What is the economic forecast for our own families, for our country, for our world?

So little seems to be in our control.

But people, as they are prone to do, are finding ways to make their own little corners better and innovative ways to help.

Michelle Pedersen and her kids took to their sidewalks to write messages — “social distancing like a boss,” and draw pictures with chalk.

The even created a hopscotch game for passersby.

“We’ve noticed there are way more people out on walks than usual so we thought we’d add a little something to brighten their day,” she said.

And that’s just one family, doing one thing. There are hundreds of examples in our community.

Organizations are reaching out as well.

Katie Leao, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada announced a new initiative Thursday. The club handed out meals to anyone driving through Friday evening.

“Our amazing community is stepping up again in a big way,” she said. “Thanks to Battle Born Food Truck and our anonymous community sponsors for their support of our community in these unprecedented times!”

Still, it doesn’t mean that the isolation isn’t difficult.

Jennifer Waldo-Speth said that despite having time to reach out to friends she hasn’t talked to in a while, she’s still struggling with it all.

“I’m crying when I’m going to bed,” she said. “I’m really missing our family that was supposed to come visit and can’t. I’m also laughing and yelling at kids, walking and hiking and baking.”

While at times it seems like absolutely everything has changed, it’s also true that some things will continue … just in a different way.

Musician Dan Palmer, who goes by “Brother Dan,” hosts a weekly show from A to Zen. With the new guidelines, he can no longer host the show from the north Carson City store so he’s using the Live feature from his Brother Dan Facebook page.

Now, he is one of many local musicians who are playing, singing and sharing music via social media.

“Music heals,” explained Palmer’s partner Melisa Maxey.

Others are finding the opportunity in the shut down.

“I feel a little guilty saying this, but I am loving this slower-paced life! We are going to bed earlier, getting enough sleep, spending more time with each other and reading more books as a family,” said Olivia Cobian. “We are not over-scheduled for the first time in forever. I actually feel more hope right now because my perpetually long and impossible to-do list has gotten shorter and doable.”


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