Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor at The Herald-News.
Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor at The Herald-News.

During the course of an interview for a story this past week, a source asked if I'd be interested in writing a different type of a pandemic story.

She wasn't thinking in terms of coronavirus coverage per se. But she thought it might be interesting for people to share the types of projects they accomplished this year simply because the virus hindered their regular activities.

For instance this person (who asked I not share her name) said she has spent more time with her husband than in past years because they're not as busy with their jobs.

She's also unpacked quite a bit of boxes, sorting what to keep and what to photograph and then discard, which gave her the double enjoyment of nostalgia and extra space.

For many of us, 2020 has been a terrible year. We've either caught the virus or lost loved ones to the virus or both.

Seniors and those with health conditions have spent much of the year at home, and they're missing family, friends and their regular routines.

Some people have lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Local businesses have closed or are struggling to stay open and keep their employees employed.

And let's not forget the California wildfires, unrest, killer hornets, an explosion of the locust population that could cause famine to millions of people and a deadly virus that's killing wild rabbits in the United States.

I'm sure I've missed a few.

But I've also seen plenty of resiliency and a variety of coping, such as people who have lost loved ones helping out nonprofits.

On social media, I've seen posts about people reading more books, assembling more puzzles and growing more gardens.

And I'd love to write a story about some of the activities and share some of your photos, too.

Maybe you've finished up those half-started needlework projects, taken up woodworking, or organized the garage, closets or basement.

Maybe you're furloughed and you've donated your time to others.

Maybe you've learned a new skill or become more technologically adept because you're video-chatting with your grandchildren.

Maybe you've opened your home to a dog or cat from a local rescue that needed a home, because now you have the time to care for a animal.

If you'd like to be included in a "covid coping," please contact me.

I'll be out of the office next week, so please be patients if I don't respond until I return.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor at The Herald-News. Contact her at or 815-280-4122.

For more local news, visit The Herald-News at

Will County