Editor’s note: Simple acts during a pandemic

“How are you doing?”
Voices of Resilience spread in the magazine

“How are you doing?”

This familiar filler phrase as a greeting and small talk initiator seems to have renewed intention nowadays. Before the pandemic, a serious answer wasn’t expected or necessarily wanted. But now, when someone asks me how I’m doing or I ask them how they’re doing, it feels like a sincere acknowledgement that says, “I know this is hard. I know everyone’s dealing with it differently and has their own struggles. But how are you holding up? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you making ends meet?”

That’s essentially how we approached this month’s cover story — we wanted to hear how the city of Madison was doing. We asked 19 people, from city leaders to frontline caregivers to teachers to chefs, to tell us what life has been like for them during this pandemic. We published their answers in their own words.

How are we doing here at the magazine? We’re doing pretty well, all things considered. You’ll notice this 68-page book is much smaller than the larger magazine you’re used to flipping through, but it is still packed with content, including a special report that should have been an Isthmus cover story.

The biggest motivator for our staff remains finding ways to best serve the community right now. We continue to promote and support restaurants and recently rolled out Restaurant Week To Go, which continues until May 30. We’ve also partnered with our sister companies, News 3 Now and channel3000.com, to produce a printed program for this year’s graduation seniors in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Our goal is to make the class of 2020 feel special celebrating this milestone.

While we take our jobs seriously and are proud to be operating under the circumstances, I think I speak for us all at the magazine when I say we are in absolute awe of all the real heroes who have emerged at this moment. I’m not just talking about the big heroes, like our health care workers and other frontline warriors. I’m also talking about the moms and dads who take mental health breaks in the bathroom before putting dinner on the table. And friends who set up “happy birthday” car parades or surprise parties via Zoom. And folks who order takeout when they just can’t cook another meal, and tip the delivery driver well beyond 20%.

I think we all have opportunities to be heroes in how we respond to this crisis, through acts as big as saving lives and as small as asking a simple “how are you doing?”

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