Community comes together in midst of national crisis

Even with a seemingly growing divide, people still bring light in a dark time

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Selah DeLong

Teddy Bears Galore! This new trend is a fun way the community encourages kids. Any person can join in on the fun too! Just put a teddy bear in your window. On your next walk, see how many you can find in people’s windows! It’s a fun way the community can unite and have fun even in hard times.

Selah DeLong, Editor-in-Chief

With the “Stay at Home” orders that have been put in place across the nation, we’ve gotten used to a certain type of normalcy that hasn’t been seen before. We’ve gotten used to self-isolation in order to protect ourselves and others from being infected with Coronavirus. In spite of this difficult and dark time, people are still finding ways to come together and be supportive of everyone affected. This closeness in community in spite of self-isolation and social distancing has manifested itself in multiple ways, including neighborhood bear hunts, supporting small and large businesses, showing love and support to essential workers and protesting. 

Since the flood of “Stay at Home” orders hit America hard, many people have been finding it difficult to entertain themselves or their children. In some neighborhoods, many houses have teddy bears sitting in the windows. Without context this seems a little strange. This trend was started to entertain kids on walks. It’s a scavenger hunt where kids try to find teddy bears in the windows of homes. Whether big, small, brown, white, black, orange, blue, whatever it may be, these teddy bears are appearing all over. This simple idea has spread across the states, bringing the community together even during a pandemic. 

Another simple and possibly overlooked way the community is coming together during this time is by people supporting small (or large) businesses. While many businesses were forced to shut down due to the massive Coronavirus outbreak, some restaurants, cafes, and coffee bars still remain open for take-out or drive-thru. 

It’s been evident that people are showing their love and support by the tremendously long lines at many locations. McDonald’s and Starbucks at Frontier Village always have a long line, especially during lunch or breakfast hours. The two Union Coffee Bars are packed as well. The lines on both sides of the stand are continuously backed up. Not only are these places receiving love and support from the local community, but they are also giving. With everything closed, it seems there’s no source of normalcy in our lives. School is all being done at home, work is being done at home, many businesses are closed. But the resounding source of normalcy that people have, although small, are the restaurants and coffee bars that continue to serve Lake Stevens. 

The community is experiencing love not only from business workers, but many are showing their gratitude to essential workers. Essential workers are just that- essential. They put themselves in harm’s way every day in order to protect the community. These include doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, grocery workers and others. Essential workers are putting the community first and it’s refreshing to see the community supporting their efforts. Many news sites have been covering some positive events, including members of the community standing outside hospitals, clapping for all those working tirelessly. Though it’s a simple act, the message is what speaks louder. The message that the community values the workers who are needed most during this time. 

Last but not least, protests are a way for people to come together. It seems a bit odd that protesting would be a way to unite. In some ways, it can cause division. Yet, before the protests began, there was already division. Some thought it would be better for everyone to stay inside for longer, while others feel it’s better to start working again. More than that, people want to regain the right to choose. What’s essential to one family may be different from another. 

At what point does not working or not being able to choose to work, go to a park, or visit family take a toll on many people? It’s already taken a toll on the families and workers. Regardless of the individual stance on the cause, protestors want their voices to be heard. 

Recently, there was a huge protest in Washington’s capital, Olympia. According to MYNorthwest, 2500 people attended. They were exercising their first amendment right. It’s a way to show that, while staying home may seem essential to one family, working and having the right to provide for their family is essential to another. 

Many news sites have covered these newfound protests, some simply reporting them, others criticizing them. It’s up to the individual to decide what they think is right, whether these protests are necessary, and whether they would support them or criticize them. However, regardless of the news coverage, these protests signify an important message. They’re symbolic of unity and individual choice. There have been many political protests in the past, a few including anti-war protests, March for our Lives protests, and Me Too protests. All of these allow members of the community to have a voice. It’s sharing a common value and coming together to make a change for that common belief that is so important to people. 

Ultimately, this season of difficulty and pain is hard to withstand for many people. While it could be those who have lost or are losing loved ones to this virus, families who are no longer able to work or people who are just finding it hard to cut off social interactions, everyone is being impacted. There is some comfort in the fact that our community is all going through it together. 

People are taking a stand to come together with their community, whether it be through a neighborhood teddy bear scavenger hunt, or through showing support to protests in the state. This time shall pass, but one of the important things to remember is the people around that made it better, happier, even tolerable.