Good things happening in our virus communities

The message is one of love and memory in the many spontaneous acts of social solidarity cropping up in the Perry area during the global viral pandemic.

These scary times of the novel coronavirus are bringing out goodness in people all around us. In order to stop the infection, we have closed our public places. We have closed our businesses. We have closed our schools. We have closed our churches.

But we have not closed our hearts.

“The amount of civic engagement is greater than I’ve ever seen,” said Larry Brilliant, the epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox in 1980. “I thought we would see the equivalent of empty streets in the civic arena, but I’m seeing young kids, millennials, who are volunteering to go take groceries to people who are homebound, elderly. I’m seeing an incredible influx of nurses, heroic nurses, who are coming and working many more hours than they worked before, doctors who fearlessly go into the hospital to work. I’ve never seen the kind of volunteerism I’m seeing.”

For instance, in the Perry area and everywhere, volunteer quilters and seamstresses are make face masks for our front line medical and emergency response workers, helping to keep safe the people who keep us safe.

Perry Girl Scout Jadeyn Hoffman, 10, of Troop 51559 in Perry, donated boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in appreciation of our front line workers, dropping off the sweets at the Perry Police Department, Dallas County EMS, Dallas County Hospital and Family Medicine Clinic and Perry Lutheran Homes Spring Valley campus.

The public safety agencies answered back, showing us they stood ready to serve their communities when they opened their fire station doors and turned on the lights on the fire trucks Wednesday at 7 p.m. as a sign of strength and hope for all. They also represented our grocery store workers, our truckers and our food producers — everyone in the supply chain of essential critical infrastructure workers who risk their health to serve our health.

Students naturally miss their friends and their teachers, and their teachers miss them. The elderly, on lockdown in our local long-term care facilities, miss their families, friends and other visitors. To show how much they care, good people have spontaneously organized  parades, such as the teachers from the Woodward-Granger Community School District, who led a parade for their students, and the good people of Dallas Center, who paraded past their loved ones in the Spurgeon Manor.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” as Charles Dickens famously said at the start of his novel set during the time of the French Revolution. The coming weeks will bring many more examples of Iowa’s best times — our strength and pride and compassion — and will bring you examples of Iowa’s goodness as we are able.


  1. Thank you for reporting some positive news at this difficult time. There have also been numerous people offering to shop for others and doing drive-by goody dropping in their neighborhoods.


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