Vermont Communities Stick Together While Staying Apart

April 21, 2020
A scarecrow and a mannequin with a sign saying "6 FT" between them and a tree and house behind them
Vermont is known for its tight-knit communities and in some ways social distancing has served to further illustrate just how tight-nit our communities are and how much Vermonters rely on those close bonds. 

Communities are finding special ways to continue to celebrate birthdays. In Richmond, police officers in masks and gloves pull up to the houses of kids celebrating birthdays, bearing gifts with flashing lights and sirens.  The St. Albans Police Department showed its support for health care professionals by mounting a parade, with lights on, through the village. 

Vermont weekly Seven Days’ video series Stuck In Vermont explored ways Vermont communities are sticking together while staying apart, including a daily parade in Vergennes, musicians posting performances online, and a love song for the town of Johnson. Watch the video log here. 

You can also find examples of Vermont love and kindness happening on Facebook and Twitter accounts dedicated to spreading the good going on in our communities. 

Vermont-born photographer Ellen Sargent was living in Boston before COVID-19 spread widely in the U.S. and decided to quarantine in her home state. Now, she’s contributing by capturing “front porch” portraits of families from six feet away, creating memories of a historic and deeply unusual time, and using proceeds to support local restaurants and healthcare workers.  

Bringing joy to the Chittenden County area is “Coronasaurus Rex” – Burlington resident Jenny Rooke in a Tyrannosaurus Rex costume. 

Rooke was given the costume as a way to cheer her up after her business needed to close, and since then, she’s been out in the community wearing it, making people laugh, dancing with people through their windows. 

She’s not the only one trying to lighten the mood safely. Winooski hip-hop group A2VT wrote a song and made a music video encouraging people to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wash their hands. 

Groups statewide are forming to help address community needs beyond trained medical help – many people are self-quarantining, or are part of an at-risk population, and need food deliveries, help walking the dog, or a lift to an important appointment. 

Groups like Rockingham Help and Helpers and the Stowe C-19 Community Response are coordinating efforts to ensure Vermonters get what they need and protect our most vulnerable populations. 

Vermonters are rising to the challenges of both COVID-19 and coping with life under Stay at Home requirements, and revealing some true creativity and compassion that help carry everyone through. 


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