It started happening almost as soon as folks here in Rehoboth went into quarantine. Bev Peltz and countless others started sewing face masks at home, some of which made their way to CAMP Rehoboth staff members. Worried about the economic impact of COVID in our community, CROP volunteers here at CAMP Rehoboth organized food drives to shore up our local food banks. Many of our valued volunteers, like Ann Evans and David Carder, figured out how to do crucial work from home. And of course, our amazing CAMP Rehoboth staff stepped up, quickly moving programs online and continuing crucial services like HIV testing.
All this during a global pandemic.
But it wasn’t just here at CAMP Rehoboth. Our town of Rehoboth found a million wonderful ways to stay connected even during a challenging time. Darin Henderson and Carl Cox’s son, Timothy, got an amazing parade from neighbors to celebrate his 9th birthday. Pam Stanley and the Pines teamed up to raise money for Beebe Healthcare. And, as Fay writes about in this issue, cars also lined up outside the home of Joe and Darryl Ciarlante-Zuber to welcome Darryl home from a long battle with COVID-19.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about our future. Of course, it is not just COVID-19 on our minds these days. The unjust killing of George Floyd and the wave of protests it inspired around the country have given new meaning to the now overly-used expression, “these unprecedented times.” Uncertainty appears to be the new normal.
Nevertheless, I am confident that this amazing community my husband and I are lucky to be a part of will continue to find ways to support and care for each other.
As I write this, our Sundance team is hard at work re-envisioning Sundance 2020 for this new era. As many AIDS activists have pointed out, this is not our first pandemic. The creativity and beauty of Sundance was originally born in the midst of a very different, but troubling pandemic for our community. As we plan a unique Sundance experience in this time of COVID, I have no doubt our team will use their creativity once again to re-invent an amazing Sundance Experience this coming Labor Day weekend.
The Sundance theme this year is “United in Love,” and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a perfect theme not just for Sundance, but for the rest of this year. Through the challenges and uncertainties we’ve faced, it’s those acts of love and kindness that have given me strength to keep going.
I hope you will make plans to join us for the unique experience Sundance will be this year, and I hope you also draw strength from seeing the many ways our community is standing United in Love.