It has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended all of our lives. The unanticipated lifestyle changes took a toll on all of us; however, people didn’t lose all hope.
In April of 2020, during the state’s shelter-in-place order, Michael Lovett and his wife took long walks nearly every morning. During these walks, going a little further than he typically would have before, Lovett began to notice what was different when life was put on pause.
On one particular walk, Lovett noticed something in his neighbor’s window. Three houses down, the front window displayed the hopeful message saying, “Hi friends. We hope ur well.” The message was made out of sheets of print paper, each letter drawn and shaded in a different color; the message ends with a large heart drawn in red. As for the dog staring out the window, he possibly ponders, “What do we do now?”
“I thought it was sweet,” says Lovett. He talked with the children who said they were “on a virus break,” when they were actually in the midst of transitioning to online school. Lovett was taken aback by the complete sincerity of the children and knew he had to capture the photo, which garnered second place in the Pets category of our Lens on the Lake contest. “Young children found outlets to do something creative to show they cared about people,” says Lovett. “It was a sign to people walking or driving by that we are still here.”
Lovett questions what we will remember of the shutdown, and believes it’s important to be present in the moment. He has taken more pictures in the last six months because, as he puts it, he has “observed more.”
The sign, in a sense, was reflective of how everyone was feeling.