What A Year: Stories of Hope And Resilience

Sarah Heimer, an ICU nurse at Broadlawns Medical Center, said during the pandemic, nurses have to act as emotional supports for patients. “We always do that,” she said, “but this is a new level.” Photographer: Emily Blobaum

When everything changed a year ago this week, dsm pivoted to respond in ways that we believed would be relevant, timely and inspirational for you, our readers. The pandemic isn’t over, of course, but the 12-month mark gives us a reason to reflect on how our community has met (and continues to meet) the challenges with resilience and hope. Here’s a selection of stories that still resonate nearly a year later:

  • Artists and cultural leaders shared their sources of comfort and joy—books, music, artworks and more. Des Moines Symphony music director and conductor Joseph Giunta, for example, turns to Frank Sinatra’s 1973 album, “Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back,” while Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center, finds assurance in how Ai Weiwei’s work of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds illuminates the human experience.
  • As restaurants were forced to shut down, dsm contributor Wini Moranville wrote a moving ode to 40 years of Des Moines dining. “If we expect a city of great restaurants, it will be on us to show up, with gratitude and in full force,” she wrote.
  • Our city’s front-line workers became overnight heroes of hope as they risked their lives to treat the sick, house the homeless, feed the hungry and work other jobs to help keep the rest of us safe.
  • As people hunkered down in their homes, local interior designers reminded us of ways to add cheer and joy to our homes, from embracing “beautility” to incorporating natural elements.
Thank you for reading dsm (on all our platforms) and for virtually engaging with us over the past year; as vaccinations continue to progress, those of us on the team look forward seeing you in person!

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