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Lessons I’ve Learned through COVID-19


September 30, 2020 By: Barb DenHerder

COVID-19 has had so many negative effects on our lives.  Things were suddenly taken from us…opportunities, jobs, school, travel, weddings, graduations….and we continue to process the loss of many of the things we had to let go of so quickly.  We are people who are now hesitant to dream, cautious to believe, and afraid to hope too far into the future.  Many are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and depression.  Our foundation has been shaken, and we falter in knowing what to trust.

Thankfully, there are always good things that come through challenges.  Here are some of the positive lessons that living through COVID has taught me that I hope I never forget.

Lesson 1: It’s OK to Slow Down.

As our community shutdown, the pace of our life also drastically changed. Highway traffic slowed down, people moved at a leisurely pace in the grocery stores, and the panic of “I need to be somewhere in 5 minutes” went away.   We instead prepared meals and ate as families.  We fixed puzzles. We planted gardens.  We baked bread.  We took walks.  We improved our homes.  We bought puppies. We reorganized our priorities, and most importantly, we built relationships.

Lesson 2: Our Educational Systems are Critical for Community Success

I am on my knees thankful that our children are receiving in-person instruction. It comes with significant challenges but that our children can learn with other children, interact with their teachers, play with their friends, participate in extra-curricular activities…I’m just so thankful!  The amount of decisions the leaders and teachers in our educational systems need to make each day are exhausting, and they deserve an incredible amount of respect and grace from our community as they continue to serve one of our greatest resources-our children.

Lesson 3: Invest in Community Amenities

Community amenities cost money. That’s a fact.  But they are what help make a community a community.  Our community’s amenities gave many of us an outlet and much-needed mental health breaks.  Our bike trails were packed, our golf course saw golfers at all times of the day, and the Siouxnami was again a perfect attraction and outing for families. We missed our parks dearly when they were closed but appreciated them even more once that yellow caution tape disappeared!

Lesson 4: Extra-Curricular Activities are a Gift

I will never, ever take a sporting event, play, or a music concert for granted again.  To watch a child work hard towards something and then to be able to compete and perform is a gift and a wonderful opportunity!

Lesson 5: Almost Anything You Need to Purchase Can be Found in Sioux Center

The Chamber would be remiss to not talk about the value of shopping local!  Our community discovered that they didn’t need to travel 60 miles to find the things they were shopping for.  Many found safety, comfort, and excellent customer service by shopping locally and our stores noticed!  Mother’s Day gifts, home improvement projects, school supplies…these were all things found right here in Sioux Center.  Our local stores have served you well.  Please continue to support these local businesses who pride themselves in meeting your needs!

COVID isn’t over but thankfully, the lessons learned aren’t over yet either.  The post-COVID world offers many possibilities, including a dramatically reorganized set of priorities and engagements.  The greatest things rise from the hardest challenges.  Sioux Center is and will be stronger and better as we continue to navigate this journey together!

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