There’s a lot of hope in sadness.

I’ve been trying my best to hold it together recently. I could have never predicted I would be reporting on the world around me temporarily shutting down in almost every facet of life. I had been doing pretty well dealing with it all. I was trying to face COVID-19 coverage with a can-do attitude and steely-faced demeanor.

But at the beginning of the week, I allowed myself to feel a little sad about everything. When I get off work, outside that bubble of coronavirus information, I let myself have all the feelings I held back from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I wasn’t really allowing myself room for these emotions until this week. I think it’s important for our readers to hear this message: It’s OK to feel sad.

Outside of the newsroom, my friends are dealing with lay-offs, furlough, taking temporary pay decreases and exponential amounts of stress, both in their work and personal lives. I realize how blessed I am to have a job at all.

I can’t fathom how my friends who are set to graduate college in May are feeling. They put in four years of hard work to be told they don’t get to say goodbye to their friends, they have to finish school online and walking the stage is tentative.

I know many people in Washington County are facing the same stark realities and more. I don’t know what else to say except hope is always around the corner, and somehow, we will make it through this.

While I was scrolling through Twitter Tuesday, I came across a tweet that read, “Joy and suffering can, and must, coexist.”

This struck a chord with me after another long day reporting on how Washington County is being affected by COVID-19.

As I look at the faces of our city council members, county commissioners, health officials and my coworkers, I notice the exhaustion that has settled on to all of our faces. We are tired and looking for answers with what feels like no end in sight.

I want to take a moment to spread a little joy in all of our suffering by offering some good news I have seen around the county:

Brenham ISD has passed out more than 7,000 meals for our community kids.

Last Friday, Brenham Wildflowers cleared out their stock and delivered floral arrangements to seniors at Brenham Nursing and Rehab while visitors are not allowed.

A local group of makers is sewing medical masks and using 3-D printers to make protective gear for nurses.

There were full hearts and full stomachs after many residents took part in the Great American Takeout Challenge to help keep our local eateries busy.

Brazos Valley Food bank donated groceries for families in the community.

Brenham Game Changers and Del Sol Foods donated $5,000 each to Faith Mission to help buy groceries for those in need in our county.

The senior center is delivering meals to the elderly while they are closed to the public.

Brenham Police Department is helping crowd control at local grocery store to ensure peace in these chaotic times.

Stockers at our grocery stores are hard at work so we can get essential items quickly to avoid long exposure at the grocery store.

Blue Bell sales are up in the county, because we all have a hankering for ice cream in the hard times. I happily contributed to this cause this week.

Families are enjoying extra time together, reconnecting and getting involved in each other’s lives again.

There are many other stories that have been coming into our newsroom of people spotting the helpers. Please do your part to be the good in a time when there is a lot of bad. Let’s stop spreading false information on Facebook and be kind online.

If you have good news, please share it with us. I would love to spread a little more joy in this time of suffering.

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