As school closures, travel bans, shelter in place orders, and social distancing majorly affect the lives of millions around the world, it is clear that we are in time of great change, the likes of which the world has not seen for many decades.
From experiencing fear and isolation to getting laid off at work, to actually contracting the virus, COVID-19 has negatively affected the lives of countless people around the world at a very personal level. However, Branson students are trying to find the silver lining in their lives.
Junior Maddie Lowe created Silver Linings Magazine, an online literary magazine meant to represent, “a community tally of silver linings.” The site hopes to highlight the beauty in and around us by offering gratitudes, pieces of art, food, writing, poetry, and happy moments to create a sense of community that has been lost during this era of social distancing.
Lowe attended the Island School this semester and while there, was exposed to many ideas such as “take advantage of everything you can,” and “seize the day,” she said.
However, despite this positive messaging, she noticed students around her at the Island School complaining about the situation they were in. Yet, when the program was cut short due to the coronavirus and the students were sent home, they complained about not being at the Island School.
“It just made me realize you could complain about everything that’s happening … or you could try and take advantage of it and see all the good instead of focusing on all the bad. Life is just the stories we tell ourselves,” Lowe said.
She created Silver Linings to tell the story and, “emphasize that there are really good things happening too.”
Silver Linings is always looking for submissions and you can check out the magazine here.
However, Lowe is not the only one in the Branson community finding positives during this time.
Sophomore Rob Rudy said, “I have more time to get … outside more and spend more time with my family than I normally would have. I am really enjoying just being able to be with my family.”
Sophomore Will Tolmie agreed saying, “The other silver lining is that I don’t get a lot of sleep when I am regularly in school. And because I don’t have a lot of homework [now] I have more time to … go to bed at an earlier hour and I think that is going to be beneficial to my health.”
Acting teacher Maura Vaughn said that one of her silver linings is the community at Branson.
“It’s a moment to really look up and say, ‘Yeah I really love what I do.’ And I am so grateful for that and I am so grateful that I get to continue to do what I love even if I don’t get to continue to do it you know, under the perfect circumstances,” she said.
Vaughn went on to say, “Personally, I was really lucky, you know … I didn’t get Clorox wipes, I didn’t get Purell or extra toilet paper or you know buy stock in Zoom, but I did manage to get both of my daughters home safe and sound before things got too difficult.” Her daughters are 22 and 26, so to have this time with them, she said, is an “incredible blessing.”