Socializing During COVID-19

Jacob Nedder

It’s not a controversial opinion to say that people are bored of being quarantined. Sitting in my house all day, advised to avoid getting within six feet of anyone else, I’m starting to miss other people more than I ever thought I would. Luckily, there have been many opportunities for me to see and talk with others, even if it isn’t always face-to-face. Several groups have taken it upon themselves to give people entertaining things to do during the quarantine, and some of them have even taken place here in Pella.

The first big event to be organized was the bear hunt, where people all over the town put bears in their windows for children to try and find while out for walks or bike rides. Bears of all sizes and colors filled windows, especially in the Fountain Hills neighborhood, where almost every window had a bear to share. The bears remained out for a week, but now have mostly all been taken down.

The next excitement came when the police cars and fire trucks of the city were lined up along Main Street on the evening of Wednesday, April 25. People were able to drive past the vehicles, all of which had their sirens lit and horns blaring. Several groups gathered to talk in the library parking lot across the way from the fire trucks, and the Main Street was backed up in both directions with slow-moving lines of cars, all waiting to see the trucks.

The final organized event (for now) happened on Sunday, April 29. Organized by the “Pella, How can we help” Facebook group, the Scoop the Loop event saw cars gathering in the square, filled with people, all waiting to talk to one another. They certainly had opportunities to talk, as traffic on the town square slowed to a crawl as people stopped to talk with one another. While seeing so many people at once was certainly a pleasant experience after the second week of staying home alone, the heavy traffic and difficulty in finding your friends made the event slightly less enjoyable for me. Still, in terms of attendance, the event was a resounding success.

These three events, all over the course of one week, greatly helped to relieve the loneliness and boredom felt throughout the beginnings of quarantine. They showed the strong community spirit of the town, and the willingness of people to try to help make this experience less of a burden for everyone. I’m glad I had these experiences, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.