March marks two years since the world suddenly shut down, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a nationwide stay at home order. Schools, businesses, restaurants, gyms, theatres, government buildings were all forced to close their doors in an effort to avoid spreading the virus.
However, despite the incredible challenges and often heartbreaking COVID stories came something beautiful: the story of Naperville’s resiliency and how we came together even while apart.
It starts with the nurses and doctors on the frontlines who gave it their all to curb the pandemic’s impact on our health. Then continues with educators who rose to the challenge of teaching and supporting their students virtually.
While many businesses closed their doors for good, we shared how others were able to pivot and push forward. Likewise, many nonprofits managed to innovate, finding new ways to care for the large increase in individuals and families needing food, shelter, and other services.
Everyday citizens also stepped up to the plate, donating food and personal protective equipment, making masks at home when there was a shortage, and delivering meals to senior citizens.
We’ve also told stories of people spreading joy to others at a time when so many needed it. It also paved the way for a greater conversation on the mental health needs of the community.
Sure, the pandemic brought many hardships and, at times, had people divided on a number of issues, but overall the Naperville community’s response has been one of resiliency, and a shining example for the rest of the nation and that why it makes our list of “Naperville Gems.”