Following the approval of our March/April issue in mid-February, I was ready to move forward—per usual. Home & Garden Issue, check. Food Issue—you’re on deck. Let’s do this.
But my once-predictable, formulaic plans—like all of yours—slowly started to change as we moved into March. As the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, Lynchburg Living’s big food-related features were postponed; some photo shoots were cancelled. Once the dust settled from those disappointments, it was time to refocus and take a different perspective… the good news, I guess you could say: We now had the opportunity to tell a more timely story.
As I looked around during the pandemic (virtually), I saw that alongside the negative—school closures, job losses, challenges in the health care industry—there were countless examples of the positive. Donations, manpower, random acts of kindness. We were separated in our households, but still found ways to be there for each other.
So, the Community Issue was formed.
Our main feature, “Coming Together,” only scratches the surface of the good deeds and selfless acts taking place across the region during the pandemic. We also joined in on an international photo movement, The Front Steps Project, by highlighting various members of the community in different professions—on their front porches, of course. Also, our special “LYH” illustrated cover is another example of coming together. We asked Heritage High School art teacher Jon Roark for help and he didn’t hesitate to say “yes.”
The concept of community is also represented in other ways. From Tarsha Joyner’s decision to keep her “absolutely fabulous” bakery downtown to a unique outdoor art initiative in Bedford, this magazine is full of what we do best—positive, uplifting stories about the greater Lynchburg region.
I sure hope this continues. Not the bad stuff—we all are ready to get back into a “new normal” as it’s being called—but the generosity. That shouldn’t be a feeling that rises and falls with Christmas, like a seasonal flu that comes and goes.
Let’s make this concept of community contagious year round.
All My Best,
Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor