A New Normal by Jillian Stewart

I am a junior in college and I am back and forth between Memphis, TN, and Chattanooga, TN. I am documenting family and close friends during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, April 2,2020

Two bears sit in the window of a Germantown home. Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

I walk to get my mail and I am greeted with laughter and the wheels of a toy car scratching against the pavement. Two driveways, a road, and the appropriate six feet distance is quickly interrupted as the young girl runs across the road to hug my mom. For a moment, COVID-19 had stopped existing and her mother apologized, “it’s hard to explain social distancing to a three year old.” 

As the topic of social distancing has increased nationally people in the city of Germantown, Tennessee is finding ways to still interact with their community. Activities like walking, biking, and running have hit an all-time high as the sunshine shines down in approval.  Some sit six feet apart in their driveways in lawn chairs hoping to have some socialization that is not behind a screen. Hospitals in the area are lacking in face masks for their health care professionals and citizens like Greg Kemp DDS are donating masks and other medical supplies from his office to help fix this issue. Others like Macon Hall Elementary School music teacher Lisa Smith, are hand sewing face masks as well to try to help the cost of buying these masks low since several hospitals are not equipped for the virus. Local Businesses are writing messages to their customers saying thank you for your support of local restaurants. And lastly, the sweetest trend is created by children in neighborhoods throughout the Memphis area. Children are leaving bears in the windows of their homes for people to see as they walk or drive by.

A new normal beckons people to find creative ways of helping one another get through COVID-19 together. Each person contributing in their own way helps lessen the hardships present in the pandemic crisis our nation faces. We are all friends, companies, and families who are working together to stop the spread of the virus while keeping the community uplifted. I have never been more thankful for the people of my hometown and their heart for the Memphis area. 

Meet the Storyteller

Jillian Stewart is a Junior at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga studying Communication with a minor in Religious studies. She is passionate about telling others stories using visual media and writing. She enjoys anything creative, working out, and traveling to new places. Contact her at bcv184@mocs.utc.edu.

2 thoughts on “A New Normal by Jillian Stewart”

  1. Great insightful read, Jillian. My prayer is that God will use this pandemic to get the world’s attention. The question now becomes: will we listen?


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