“I have this really awesome face mask, it goes great with my shoes.”
“We just sort of casually say things now that we never would have conceived ourselves saying at the beginning of the year. ‘Has Orange County updated its tracker of virus case numbers?’ ‘Another cluster at UNC. Are any of them in the hospital?’ ‘I have this really awesome face mask, it goes great with my shoes.’ Every day it’s another one of those. Would you have imagined yourself saying that when 2020 began? No, absolutely not. Now we do it every day.”
As a radio host for WCHL in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Aaron is at the epicenter of what’s happening in the community. “I made a conscious decision in early March to be as positive and optimistic as humanly possible even while having to go on the air for a four-hour local news show and talk about case numbers and death counts and UNC closing and all of these heavy things. But also to focus on the fact that we’re all in this together and how many people who are stepping up to help each other. And look at all the creative things that people are doing to meet the many needs that are suddenly exploding and emerging all at once. Because if I’m not positive and optimistic, no one’s going to be. A cheerleader for the community. We celebrate this community for what it is, and no more so than now.
What has surprised me is how adaptable we are to new things, new situations. For the most part, we have shifted to a weird new routine. When people ask me, ‘How are you doing through all this?’ I started by saying, ‘I’m developing a weird new routine.’ Now I just say, ‘Weird new routine.’ And they all understand. Everyone, as soon as I say it, are like, ‘Yep, me too.’ Because everything is completely different now from what it was six months ago, but we’ve all kind of settled into it. We wake up and go through our 2020 day and we look forward to our 2021 day, which hopefully will look a lot more like our 2019 day than our 2020 day.
At the beginning of every single year, I make my to-do list for the year. All of the things I want to accomplish, projects I want to do, places I want to go. All these grand plans. Then COVID happened. So, yeah, I’ve got this amazing list of things I want to do in 2021.” -- Aaron #NorthCaroina