We were stirred by the words of these small-town Americans who saw a need — an imperative for the health and safety of their residents and for the prosperity or even survival of their town — and acted on it. They provide a model for other towns to follow: Draw on the talents of citizens to define a problem and then map out a means to solve it.

We urge the towns we cover to look at the checklists the World Health Organization has provided to see where they are succeeding and, more importantly, how they can improve.

We urge each of our readers to think of yourself as holding onto a ribbon — a ribbon that joins you to your neighbor. You, of course, are unique and so is each person in the long line of people holding a ribbon, one to another. We have to see each person as an individual yet understand, too, we are connected in our humanity.

At this most local level of government, the transition of power was seamless. And that has given me hope for our democracy.

The pandemic has made clear that accurate information can be a matter of life and death.

With this cyber arms race, there is no détente. There is no motivation for the malicious attackers to stop.

Each of us needs to get vaccinated so that, together, we can move forward as a society.

The pandemic has laid bare many disparities in our society and focused the need for both government and individual action to solve the now-evident problems.