TRENDS Diary: A Welcome Distraction

Nick Dunbar plays guitar for the residents of Frasier Meadows Retirement Community.

TRENDS Diary, a project of the Community Foundation of Boulder County, is a place for Boulder County residents of all ages to share personal experiences that relate to a pressing community need. The focus, for now, is on our shared need to connect and solve problems, despite the increased isolation we’re all experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dear TRENDS Diary,

I am a musician with 300 Days band. Due to COVID-19, my gigs have been canceled and the record I was recording in April has been postponed.

I wanted to find a community I could service and give myself a reprieve from the chaos. Knowing this was intensely affecting the elderly, I reached out to a friend who works at Frasier Meadows and began brainstorming. I have played there in the past.

I suggested setting up in a central space where I could crank the sound system and patrons could open their windows and tune in. Their safety was a primary concern.

The first time I played, I could feel myself welling up. They were sitting there tapping their toes and their fingers, totally clued in. I kept looking over at my friend who was emotional, too. My wife took care of her mother, who had bad dementia. Their family was very into acoustic music, and I could feel the joy it was bringing her as well. This was serving and moving the staff, too. They wrote me a beautiful card thanking me for the “welcomed distraction.”

I played there again to the general population, some of whom had been to my shows. I played at the Academy on the Hill with my buddy Andy Mann. It’s something I can do that’s easy; you just have to be creative.

When you shift perspective and realize that serving your community in turn serves oneself, then these acts of kindness and selflessness can be so much more powerful and unifying. Don’t operate from a place of fear, but one of strength, courage and community.

As much as fear and anger are contagious, so is hope and peace. Kindness is infectious, and that is what we need right now.

– Nick Dunbar

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    TRENDS Diary: A Welcome Distraction KGNU News

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