“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” evidently isn’t just a 2,000-year-old adage; recent studies have shown it’s a scientific fact, based on how our brains work. As one researcher told the Washington Post in June, a big part of what “really cements bonds over time” is “this desire to reunite.”
I certainly have no trouble believing that, as my desire to reunite with you, our readers, grows stronger every day. When the pandemic forced our team to work remotely, I certainly didn’t suspect it would stretch to, as of press time, six months and counting.
I miss having personal interactions with you, especially at our always-anticipated, always-merry unveiling parties. And as a journalist, I miss meeting with community members for interviews and chats; digital communication, no matter how sophisticated the tool, can’t take the place of shoe-leather reporting, real-world observation, and face-to-face conversation.
Until we can reunite, I invite you to stay connected with us—and, importantly, with one another—through our virtual events. As I write this, we’re planning a virtual dinner party to unveil this issue (which, by the time you read this note, you may already have enjoyed) and a similar online soiree to launch the January/February issue.
This month, we’re also hosting two additional virtual events. On Nov. 4, we’ll present a panel on the role policy plays in driving and combating hunger, part of our yearlong Iowa Stops Hunger initiative, which is designed to raise awareness and inspire action to stop hunger in our state (register at iowastopshunger.com).
Then on Nov. 19, we’ll conclude our fall webinar series on mental health. Guest contributor Deidre DeJear will lead a solutions-based conversation with experts on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (register at dsmmagazine.com). Also on that day, we’ll publish Lifting the Veil, our annual magazine covering mental health issues. This year, we focus on how COVID has affected the mental health of students, older people, health care workers and others, and what to do to help yourself and your loved ones stay strong. As the weather grows colder and the pandemic makes us wearier, community connections surely will become even more vital to fostering the sense of togetherness that helps us all thrive professionally and personally.
We at dsm want to stay connected with you in any way we can, so call, email and interact with us through social media and our virtual events. It’s not like being in person, but it’s the next best way to cement our bond.