In the Easter season, we feel a sense of hope, new beginnings, and optimism that comes with spring. This year the season is even more poignant as we hope for an end to an historic health threat.
Gradually we are seeing signs of emergence from this long pandemic. The case numbers have been declining, many are receiving the vaccine, and restrictions are loosening. In early March I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. There is a sense of security that comes with the knowledge that you should be immune. The mask will stay on for a few more weeks, but I am looking forward to some limited gatherings with family and friends. Before the pandemic, I would pick up my granddaughter from school every Tuesday. In the last year, I’ve only seen her a few times. It seems that she’s grown up since I’ve seen her last. Those are the types of experiences that this pandemic stole from us.
Meanwhile, Danish America is emerging along with the optimism that comes with spring. At the end of May, Tivoli Fest in Elk Horn is planning a return as “Tivoli Lite” with a limited schedule. Churches are planning for the return of members to the sanctuary. The Danish Home in Chicago is lifting some restrictions. Museums are opening on a limited basis and travel is beginning to open up. Recently I booked my flight ticket to Denmark for this summer. I’m optimistic that there will be a Rebild gathering on July 4. It may be limited, but it looks like it will happen.
There are ways the pandemic has changed our lives. Many of us barely knew about Zoom a year ago. Now, we frequently jump on zoom meetings. It’s likely that we will continue to use this type of technology in the future for Danish American events. Even when gathering is safe, we can expect to see Zoom and Facebook Live to reach audiences beyond the local attendees. This is a positive consequence of the pandemic. When we formed NFDA, a goal was to help groups reach beyond their traditional supporters. The pandemic forced us to do just that. Maybe we can continue to reach new audiences with this technology - especially younger people, expand the Danish American audience, and preserve and promote our heritage. Stay safe and well, and God Påske, Bruce
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