On the Bright Side

How the community is keeping spirits high through COVID-19 outbreak

by Ella Sulwer, Social Media Manager


Through this COVID-19 pandemic it’s easy to focus on all the scary and sad news people are receiving everyday, but in the community families and neighborhoods have done several things to show support and spread a few smiles. 

One popular thing to do is to hold birthday parades. This is where friends and family drive by and honk with decorated vehicles to say happy birthday to the person celebrating. Getting stuck socially distancing on your birthday might not be the best thing in the world, but this way many still can enjoy the day while staying safe. April fourth senior Katie Pieper had her birthday and even though she couldn’t do everything she had planned she didn’t let that ruin her day. 

“My birthday celebrations were definitely not what I was hoping for, however, considering the circumstances, my friends and family made my day so special,”  Pieper said. “My family drove by and they all had signs on their cars and an hour later a group of my friends drove by and I got to talk to all of them, six feet away of course.”

From the other side of birthday parades, sophomore Sarah Frerker actually started one and called many people including the fire department to drive by for her close friend Lizzie Sander’s birthday. 

“Setting up and going to a birthday parade is actually really fun,” Frerker said.  “It gave me something fun to look forward to. For the parade I called and asked the fire department if they could have a truck drive by and honk with the parade which is something I’ve never done.”

While fun for those celebrating, the parades and other cheerful acts, such as chalk art and putting teddy bears on porches, are inspiring others. 

“I know if I had my birthday during this time I’d love a parade of cars featuring my favorite people,” sophomore Sally Werth said. “I’ve seen chalk art around the neighborhood too! People have many encouraging things to write on their sidewalks and I think it’s cute that our community is participating in that.”

Walks are most peoples only way to escape their homes and, with many working from home and kids doing online school work, staying confined for a long period of time can be difficult. With the loving touch of neighbors, many have put things on windows and on their porches for kids to spot on walks. 

“A lot of my neighbors have teddy bears and hearts in their windows and I see family’s walking around looking at doors and pointing things out,” Frerker said. “It’s helping kids stay preoccupied and it’s lifting parents spirits during this scary time period.”

While these things aren’t crucial, they do spread hope and bring people together when we are all apart. No one knows what the future holds and when a seemingly normal lifestyle will be reached again, but for now the community has to find ways to stay positive and spread hope looking past these bleak days. 

“So far I have participated in chalk art on sidewalks and in my driveway, but I definitely think participating in things like birthday parades and hearts on windows makes a positive difference and helps show positivity in such a negative time,” freshman Taylor Birkenmeier said. “I think they help bring the community closer together.”