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Connections: Reflecting on one year of pandemic life in the Upper Valley

  • Upper Valley Music Center Executive Director Ben Van Vliet controls the presentation of a streamed concert in Lebanon, N.H., Saturday, March 21, 2020. After playing a piece live on his violin Van Vliet set up pre-recorded performances by the center’s faculty. He hopes that the live concert that had to be postponed and serves as a fundraiser for tuition assistance, can be rescheduled later in the year. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to James M. Patterson

Valley News
Published: 4/7/2020 1:35:41 PM
Modified: 1/27/2021 4:08:24 PM

It’s now January 2021 — nearly a year since the novel coronavirus upended life in the Upper Valley, in March 2020. A year of milestones missed and plans put off. Of isolation, disappointment and despair. Yet it’s also been a year of challenges faced, adaptations made and new heroes discovered in unlikely places.

We’d love to check in and hear from our readers: How are you? How have you and your family fared? In what ways has COVID-19 changed your life or the lives of those you love?

For March 2021, we’re reviving our “Connections” feature from the days of early pandemic lockdowns, when we asked readers to respond to a series of prompts to help us all feel more connected.

Share the story of your pandemic year with us, and we may share it with the rest of the Upper Valley in the pages of the Valley News.

Looking back — Answer one or more of the following questions:

■What has the pandemic taken from you, and in what ways might you be stronger today?

■Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings. Tell us about milestones that were affected by the pandemic, and how. 

■What have you made during this year of living dangerously — bread? resolutions? mistakes? art? 

Looking forward — Answer one or more of the following questions:

■What do you hope to carry forward from this time? What do you never want to revisit again?

■What lessons have we learned about how to live our lives differently — as individuals, communities, a country?


Submissions can be as short as a single sentence or up to a few paragraphs (no more than 250 words). Photos are welcome. If you would like to pitch a longer submission, please email us first at to talk about guidelines.

Email your submission to or by regular mail to P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, VT 05001. If you have visual art to share, send it as a high-resolution attachment to, along with some information about the piece and yourself.

In all cases, please be sure to include your full name, your town and a daytime telephone number so we can get in touch with you.


Submissions must be received by Feb. 26 to be considered for publication. 

Be well, stay safe and we look forward to hearing from you.

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