Dear TNH Readers, 

I hope you are all staying healthy, physically and mentally, and perhaps even enjoying some new “quarantivities.” 

As a lifelong Durham resident, I’ve seen this town bursting at the seams with students, residents, and families. I’ve seen it as what can only be described as a “ghost town” during Thanksgiving break, winter break, the first couple weeks of summer break. And, I’ve seen it somewhere between all of this, warm mid-July nights when long-time residents sit outside Breaking New Grounds with a newspaper and students line up at bars and restaurants, getting back into the groove of a college town.  

My time in quarantine has been spent at my house with my parents and my golden retriever, Gus. My days likely resemble what most are experiencing: lots of work on the computer, a little too much Netflix, perhaps a walk with the dog. To be honest, the days have started to blend together. In terms of quarantine trends, I have not really gotten hooked on “Tiger King”; it’s a little too much for me. I have definitely hopped on the baking train; it’s become almost a right-of-passage to bake banana bread during this time. 

Given all of this, I think I have enough perspective to say that I have never, ever experienced a Durham like this. It feels empty, somewhat peaceful, but a bit unsettling knowing that the quiet is not due to a lack of people living in town, but rather because of precautions being taken to stop the spread of a deadly virus.  

I know so many of us have felt frustrated, angry, disheartened, and anxious as COVID-19 has spread. I think it’s important to acknowledge that these feelings are valid. This is a new beast for all of us, and it will understandably take some adjusting to get used to this new lifestyle we are living. And while I know there is much to be bummed about, I think our community can rise above this, can be strong, and stay positive. 

I think it’s very important to make the best of what comes to us. Right now, our priority is flattening the curve of this virus, staying home to stop the spread and embracing this new normal while it lasts. 

We owe those on the frontlines fighting this virus all the gratitude in the world. Our healthcare workers should inspire us to do all that we can, every day, to come together and be there for each other and our loved ones. 

It has been heartwarming to see videos of people applauding healthcare workers, singing out their windows, and helping however they can. Hopefully our country comes out on the other side of this virus happier, healthier and stronger than before. 

For now, be well, be safe and do your best. 

All the best,  

Anna Kate Munsey