Many local residents have lamented the prevalence of negativity in interactions recently, so the Leader requested some examples of positive things resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ronda West of Fox said she recently posted on Facebook about her father Travis Castleberry’s birthday coming up on July 7 and asked that anyone who knew him and wanted to help lift him up on his 89th birthday to send him a card or call him. Because of coronavirus concerns there would be no party, and Ronda was concerned about the ongoing effects of isolation.
Marilyn Seaton and her daughter-in-law Alison Parks organized a birthday parade, contacting people and asking that they decorate their vehicles with “Happy Birthday, Travis” posters and balloons. All Ronda had to do was get Travis outside at 6 p.m., and she managed to convince him to take a walk in the yard and then sit under a tree next to the driveway.
“Basically, he thought I had lost my mind, but he played along,” she said.
Travis was happily surprised when the cars started coming by honking, with people yelling Happy Birthday to him. Some even dropped off little care packages of snacks and goodies on their way back past the driveway.
“It was a feel-good moment of community,” Ronda commented, “and it really made turning 89 a very special event.”
Travis told his well-wishers that he planned on having another birthday next year -- same time, same place -- and that he hoped they could all do this again.
At the other end of the age spectrum, youngsters have been disappointed in having activities cancelled, but Ethan Doss was able to attend a virtual summer camp recently. His mother Esther said the camp was complete with flag raising/lowering, camp songs, and cabin competitions.
“Using Zoom, Facebook and Goose Chase, they played hard all week and had the most fun they could possibly have,” she said. “The awesome thing was that it was free and many of the campers would not have been able to afford going to the actual camp itself.”
Other community members offered the following examples of “positives”:
Jackie White – “My husband works out of state a lot but has been home with us since the pandemic started. With him home, we were able to surprise our daughters and build them a treehouse.”
Blake Henley – “I’ve had more home cooked meals in the last four months than I’ve had in the last four years.”
Kara Blackwell – “Stone County Family Practice Clinic went out of their way and sent our 93-year-old Papa a very personalized quarantine birthday card. It made his day.”
Martha Stanley – “A friend made me and hubby masks and delivered them to my house while we were seriously quarantining due to his recent bypass surgery. I’m forever grateful to her.”
Dana Finimore – “People are rediscovering their love of nature. camping, hiking and all outdoor activities have seen a surge in renewed popularity. Also, air quality has improved due to fewer cars on the roads.”
Readers with examples of “positives” they’ve experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak are invited to share them by dropping us a note, sending to firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging Stone County Leader on Facebook. If response warrants, this will become a continuing series.