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Flowers bloom. Birds sing. Grass greens. Creeks rush over stones, sparkling in the sunlight.

Today is Earth Day. Look around, spring has brought new life. It’s as unstoppable as it is beautiful.

No pandemic can halt it. No crisis can keep it from illuminating the good happening continually in Madison County on Earth Day and every day of spring — and every other season.

Bursting through the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, good news abounds in Madison County.

While our headlines often tell the stories of death brought by COVID-19, the vast majority of those who fall ill ultimately overcome the disease.

The recoveries of people like former Elwood police officer John Davis provide proof of our resilience.

The virus hit Davis hard, but he fought back. On March 30, his fever broke. A week later, he was back at work.

“I am so grateful to all the people who reached out to me while I was sick. I truly believe that was one of the things that helped me get better,” Davis said in an article published April 14.

Long before Davis fell ill, The Herald Bulletin was following the story of Anderson native Chris Kirchenbauer, who lives with his family in Nanjing, China. His wife, Diana, and children — Eric, 8, and Tia, 6 — were visiting her family in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first broke out. They were among millions caught in the quarantine.

When it was finally lifted, Diana, her parents and the children traveled the six hours from Wuhan to Nanjing, arriving home April 8.

“It feels great!” Chris Kirchenbauer said in an email to The Herald Bulletin. “The kids were really excited to see me and likewise, I was thrilled to see them, my wife Diana and my in-laws.”

While few folks in Madison County have connections in China, most can empathize with Davis.

In a Herald Bulletin online poll last weekend, 52% of 234 respondents said they know someone who has been sickened or killed by the disease. Either through our connections with those who have fallen ill or through the changes it has wrought in our daily lives, all of us are affected by the pandemic.

But, like spring, we’re an unstoppable force. On Earth Day and each of the other 364 days, we’ll prevail.

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