COVID-19 has created a sense of community


Brenna Cohoon

Remember to share your wonderful smile whenever you see someone outside during these difficult times.

It’s a beautiful day: the sun is shining and a gentle breeze blows through the trees as the sidewalks buzz with movement. I pass by countless people walking, running and biking who excitedly exchange a wave or friendly smile with me.

Over the past several weeks in quarantine, I have noticed a massive amount of people exercising or simply spending time outdoors. As a runner myself, I’m used to being outside to get in my miles, but I don’t always come across many people. Since I’m training alone to follow the rules of social distancing, it makes me happy to have some company out on the roads right now.

People may be spending more time outside for the sake of their own wellness, but I believe it’s having a positive impact on our whole community. Everyone I see has been so nice lately, whereas before, people typically kept to themselves. There wasn’t a problem with the way things were then, but as we are currently in the midst of a pandemic, it means a lot to see simple acts of kindness.

Even though people need to be physically separated to ensure our safety, I think there has been a greater sense of community than ever before. We have all been trying to find a new normal in our lives in order to keep others safe. If that isn’t an amazing display of compassion, then I don’t know what is.

I am grateful for the kindness that everyone has been displaying lately, but I hope that doesn’t change when our lives return back to normal. Seeing so many friendly faces on my runs makes a big difference in boosting my happiness, and I’m sure it does the same for others. It comforts me knowing that I am not alone in experiencing this unusual moment in our lives.

The next time you see someone outside, I challenge you to say hello, even if you don’t know them. I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone lately by greeting others in an effort to contribute to this greater sense of community. It serves as a reminder that no one is going through this difficult time alone.