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Signature Montana Magazine

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ow! is year has been rough, to say the least. When 2020 began, who could have predicted a virus would span the globe and wreak so much havoc. Not only has our health been threatened, our way of life changed too. What is interesting to me is how people handled the pandemic; some stocked up on toilet paper (I'm still questioning that one), while others overbought canned foods and water. Some dug into DIY projects around the house or signed up for virtual boot camps to get in shape for summer while others completely denied it was happening all together. Once the fear subsided and people realized working from home and homeschooling children would be the new standard for the unpredictable future, something changed. Amidst the chaos and behind the masks, I saw that alongside the negative, there were countless acts of random kindness. People coming together as a community and supporting local businesses, making donations, and helping wherever they could while still observing social distancing protocols. People were spreading kindness unlike ever before. When I'd brave an outside walk or a quick trip to the grocery store, I noticed people were more courteous, waving, and asking how I was doing. Online, people were checking in on each other, sending spirited messages and reaching out to those they hadn't spoken to in years. Of course, there were still the Negative Nancies, but they were easy to ignore. Despite all the negativity brought forth by the media, one thing is clear, while tragedy is devastating to those who are directly affected, the social and empathic nature of humanity manifests during these times. Crisis may inflict fear but the resilience of a community flourishes and holds firm. In March, we were prepared to go to print with Signature MT Magazine at the same time the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, forcing business, school and church closures, job losses and many challenges to the health care industry. Luckily, we were able to pull Signature MT before it hit the presses, and thank goodness, as the bulk of articles focused on upcoming events that were canceled. Not only did it put a damper on the issue but plans Hayley Lenington-Leray W for the following one came to a complete standstill with on-site interviews and photo shoots being canceled. Once the dust settled from the disappointment, it was time to refocus. e Signature MT team headed back to the drawing board and started from scratch… developing new stories, emailing new assignments to writers and photographers, while the creative team developed a new vision for layout and design… virtually of course. e concept of resilient communities and the spirit of giving back is sprinkled throughout pages of this issue. From a doctor's love for treating children, a health care system's devotion to service and wellness to Montana vacation hotspots that won't disappoint, especially if you are looking to stay closer to home this summer. is magazine is full of what we do best… positive and inspiring stories. SiG MT 10 S MT FROM THE EDITOR Photo: Cindy Cieluch As we settle into unprecedented life changes, my hope is for the gratuitous and generous spirit of people to continue… it shouldn't be a seasonal investment at Christmas and other holidays. Let's make this concept of community resilience contagious year-round.

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