The COVID-19 coronavirus may have shut down large pieces of the economy, but there is no stopping local residents from making due through a series of creative outlets and random acts of kindness.

Library programs

At the Monona Public Library, Karen Wendt, the youth services coordinator, is holding virtual storytimes through Facebook Live at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Picture books read by authors and celebrities will be posted on the Monona Public Library Facebook page. The books can be counted for those who participate in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free reading program that encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early experiences by daily reading aloud to their children ages birth to 5.

Search for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app, sign up with Monona library as your home library. Show your progress at the Monona Public Library to receive small prizes.

For other fun things to do at home, visit The webpage is updated weekly with resources to keep children engaged, learning and having fun.

Dance party

WVMO 98.7 FM, Monona’s radio station, will hold a 10-minute dance party at 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, targeted at children at home to “get the wiggles out.” The dance party is a break from the station’s Americana format to offer a break to parents of small children.

Karen Wendt, youth services coordinator at the Monona Public Library, will hold her Facebook Live storytimes and then encourage viewers to tune into the radio station.

‘Can’t Touch This’

McFarland’s Mary Fruits and her sons, Clyde, 12, Patrick, 10, and Andrew (A.J.), 6, created a music video about the coronavirus called “Can’t Touch This Corona.”

“I had the initial idea to make the music video, because I wanted something for the kids to do other than watching TV and playing video games that was fun and included music,” Fruits said. “Sometimes, in the car when listening to music, we will change lyrics to songs to fit our lives; one time Patrick had to get stitches in his elbow, and we changed the words to the Shawn Mendes song “Stitches” to “Patrick needed stitches.”

Fruits said the video was made before the governor’s safer-at-home order was issued late last month.

“The two older boys and I all wrote the lyrics together,” Fruits said. “I had the idea on a Saturday night, we wrote all the lyrics on Saturday night and then did all of the recordings on Sunday.”

Fruits and her son, A.J., shared the camera work.

“I did the video editing and had it posted by 5 p.m. that same Sunday evening,” Fruits said. “I used iMovie to make the video and had never used it before. I had previous experience using Adobe Premiere, but it was still a learning experience for me in video editing.”

Clyde is a student at Indian Mound Middle School, Patrick goes to Waubesa Intermediate School, and A.J. goes to McFarland Primary School.

Watch the video at

Mask donations

The Deer-Grove EMS put out a call for masks, gloves, and disinfecting and cleaning supplies to help maintain their supply, and residents responded.

The Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce set up a collection bin at Piggly Wiggly. Disposable masks and hand-sewn masks filled the bin.

Paula Severson, executive director or the chamber, said more than 300 disposable masks and 66 hand-sewn masks have been collected.

Other donations were collected from companies big or small, from Cottage Grove and Deerfield, schools to clinics, from individuals and groups.

In addition to Deer-Grove, the masks were also distributed to St. Mary’s Hospital, the Cottage Grove Police Department and Edgerton Hospital Transitions Home Health, which works with homebound seniors in the area.

Donations were also shared with the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department, Cottage Grove Fire Department and Dane County Sheriff’s Office serving the Town of Cottage Grove and village of Deerfield.

Lunch for employees

Many companies have purchased lunch from local restaurants for their employees. Hydrite Chemical in Cottage purchased the meals for their 80 employees. Woodman’s in Madison bought meals from Green Lantern in McFarland.

Floral cheer

Piggly Wiggly in Cottage Grove has also provided lunch for its employees and started a free flower delivery service in Cottage Grove to help bring cheer to people.

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