To say 2020 was a challenging year would be an understatement! As we turn the calendar to 2021, we may find ourselves reflecting on the past year. And with the COVID-19 pandemic surrounding most of 2020, it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects.

But every cloud has a silver lining!

The pandemic has pushed many of us outside our comfort zone and forced us to adapt to a new environment. We can’t predict the future of this pandemic, but we can choose how we respond to it.

While there are many things we still cannot do, there are opportunities to do new or different things we previously couldn’t. You may be able to spend more time with your loved ones at home, or perhaps use your previous commute time to start a new hobby. Certainly, there are some positive things resulting from this bad situation!

We asked our employees what their COVID-lining is, and here are some responses!


“To be able to enjoy lunch several times a week with my lovely wife.”  

– David Morgan, LD, Lancaster


“Having lived her for 8+ years, we never realized how many parks, trails, and natural beauty we have in  northeast Ohio. My wife and I took up hiking this summer, which not only got us out of the house, but it was a great way for us to recharge, relax, and realize how much fun it is to explore our local parks!

– Ryan Mastowski, LD, Akron-Canton


“We welcomed our little guy back in November :)”

– Victoria Webb, SV, Akron-Canton


“Working from home allowed me and my wife to foster an additional dog from Pitties-Love-Peace, a local rescue we have volunteered with for the past five years. Chili Bean was one of our past foster dogs who was adopted over three years-ago, but due to family changes with his adopted family, he needed to be re-homed. Although we currently have four dogs, with his past history with us (and three of our four dogs) and with me and my wife at home due to COVID-19, we were able to bring him back to our home until he could find his final forever home (which he did).”

– Chuck Rhine, GP, Lancaster


“2020 brought us our seventh grandbaby! Claire Taylor Kirk.”

– Darrin Foster, SV, Mechanicsburg


I am saving a ton of money on gas and wear and tear on vehicles not driving back and forth to work. I also feel good about lowering my carbon footprint.

I was able to take my commute time and turn it into exercise time in the morning and dinner prep time in the evening. So I am getting more exercise and me and my family are eating healthier.

I have the best-trained dog I have ever had in my life because I was home to work with him every day.

My “someday maybe” at-home to-do list is getting crossed off. Some of these things I really didn’t think I would get to until I retire. Major stress reliever.

– Dave Hoglund, TR, Lancaster


“Our cloud story began a little before 2020, with my father-in-law and mother-in-law dying three weeks apart in September 2019. They loved to travel – took cruises and flew to Las Vegas or California as often as they could. We’d finally arranged to join them for a cruise in December 2019, which obviously didn’t happen.

Our silver lining of 2020 is that our kids moved to cyber school, my position became remote work, and we got through the estate process. I’m repairing a used fifth wheel and we start a new chapter in 2021 – working and schooling from the road as much as possible. While we’d rather have them with us, we’ll think of Janelle’s parents often as we (hopefully) make our way west.

Without the disruptions of 2020, it would have been unthinkable to do travel and work simultaneously – what an opportunity!”

– Brian Freed, SV, Mechanicsburg


“It’s always been my dream to live at the beach. My plan was to retire there someday, but when RETTEW offered employees the option of working from home permanently, I made my dream a reality a lot sooner! My partner, Bob, and I sold our home in Lancaster, PA and moved to Rehoboth Beach, DE on October 1! Life’s a beach! 😊”

– Shawn Barron, MC, Lancaster


“Every parent knows raising kids is not usually a particularly easy job. Creating the right balance of work, play, learning, rest, and healthy eating can be one of the hardest parts. During the pandemic, my husband and I have been lucky enough to work from home. This has allowed us more quality time with our kids, aged 8 to 14, who need a lot of support from us at their ages. We certainly didn’t have as much time for light saber battles before…”

– Laura Hall, NS, Lancaster 


“With the events stemming from the pandemic of 2020 and the shifting of the workplace to our own homes, we all had to adapt to the challenges of working remotely and in a totally different environment. In my case, this shift in locations has eliminated approximately two hours of travel time each day to and from my work place. I feel the elimination of this travel time is much better spent with household chores, recreational time, or just leisure time. I’m picking up some minor household chores such as running the vacuum or as simple as having the dishes cleaned up everyday. Another added benefit is spending more time with our fur babies (dog and cat).”

– Mike Holmes, TR, Lancaster


“While 2020 wasn’t a great year for mental health, I was able to significantly focus and improve mine by working from home. I have more time to focus on myself, my happiness, my comfort, and my overall goals in life. I invested my new spare time and money in making my space truly comfortable. I’ve always wanted an amazing computer gaming setup, and now that I’m sitting at my desk more often, I had the motivation to finally put it together! I look forward to sitting down for work every day largely thanks to my surroundings, as well as being able to take better care of myself overall.”

– Gabbie O’Grady, MC, Lancaster 


“I have two dogs and in December of 2019, my beautiful girl Pepper was diagnosed with Leukemia. After a few visits to the oncologist for treatments, they realized it had gone into full blown Lymphoma. COVID-19 happened and allowed me to work from home and spend time here with her in what would be her last few months with me. I lost her in August, but was grateful to have the additional time at home with her.”

– Tracy Brooks, PT, Mechanicsburg


“While being confined to my home during the pandemic, I rediscovered my artsy side and love for photography that I first developed as a child. Combining artistry, my love of being outdoors in the sunshine, gardening, and exploring nature in everyday settings enabled me to capture some pretty amazing photos. I found comfort and solace in nature, from sunrises and sunsets to butterflies and flowers, as well as the cat that visited my backyard every day. For me, I truly believe the silver lining during the pandemic has been my relationship between nature and the healing effects it has had on me mentally, providing joy and peace during an otherwise stressful time.”

– Anita Osborne, TR, Mechanicsburg


“In a virtual environment, geographic lines are blurred. I now realize I used to go about my days focusing mainly on those physically around me. Since COVID, I interact more intentionally with friends and co-workers – without distance as a factor, I am building stronger relationships and working with more folks across the company.”

– Barb Mahaffey, MC, Lancaster