Remembering the Good

 Remembering the Good

Columnist Judy Clabes with her “pod”

To stay positive during these stressful times, it’s helpful to focus on happier things

Fighting back the universal side effect of COVID-19 (the gloom related to life disruption, quarantine/isolation and nothing-will-ever-be-the-same), I—like all of you—have been willing myself to realize that life does move along and good things are happening, too.

My “pod” includes four others (three teenagers among them) keeping safe at home, experiencing freedom in our own backyard, wearing masks to necessary places, frequently washing and sanitizing hands, preparing for distance learning and sometimes retreating to a quiet corner to get away from everybody else. Familiarity may not breed contempt, but it can breed grouchiness.

In one magic moment after five isolated months, I ventured to beautiful, historic Augusta for a reunion with old friends, Nick and Nina Clooney, for lunch at—where else?—the newly opened and beautifully renovated Beehive Augusta Tavern. Augusta was alive with visitors—almost all masked and socially distanced—enjoying the beautiful riverfront and historic downtown. Wearing masks and visibly restraining from hugs, we sat down for lively conversation at an appropriately distanced table. Nick regaled us with always charming and funny stories—rich with detail—that kept us laughing. Always the best medicine. A sweet memory to keep me going for another five months, if that is required.

So, for other positive things that have been happening while we are sidelined:

– The city of Covington has connected with national nonprofit Comp-U-Dopt and local partners Cincinnati Bell, ReGadget, Blair Technology Group, and Covington Independent Public Schools to get free computers into the hands of 1,900 families and expand Wi-Fi access.

– CVG went out of its way to reconnect a lost stuffed puppy left behind at the terminal with its young owner. They reached out on social media and through their airline partners and reunited 6-year-old Jaydence in Florida with the gift he received from the judge who finalized his adoption two years ago.

– The first woman to have a bronze statue in the state capitol will be Nettie Depp, an amazing education pioneer who was elected superintendent of schools in Barren County before women had the right to vote.

– Organizations, like Learning Grove, Behringer-Crawford Museum and Brighton Center, are forgoing annual in-person fundraisers this year in favor of virtual ones. Look for an innovative Suits That Rock virtual fundraiser for the Carnegie.

– The dynamic Julie Kirkpatrick has been named CEO at meetNKY, following the retirement of Eric Summe. She takes the helm as tourism faces plenty of COVID-related challenges but is ready to lead the Go Forward plan.

– The Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport’s Candace McGraw has been recognized with a Legend Award from the NKY Young Professionals and with the 2021 Metropolitan Award, presented by the club to a leader who unifies the region through professional collaboration.

– Gravity Diagnostics in Covington is on the cutting edge of COVID testing and is growing significantly. It will be moving to new, greatly expanded quarters, a 17,000-square-foot facility at 812 Russell St., and expects to double its employee base of 150 over the next three years.

– Construction is continuing on the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center in Edgewood. Turner Construction is building the impressive place and Dr. Doug Flora, executive medical director of oncology services (and a cancer survivor), can’t wait to continue his mission to “kill cancer.” The $130 million, 233,000-square-foot facility will open this fall.

Stay safe, everyone—wear masks, wash and sanitize your hands, and keep your distance. Let’s show COVID-19 it can’t win.