WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. — Far away from hospital walls where patients are fighting COVID-19, a bell tolls for them in the small Woodford County community of Troy on Peggy Carter Seal's porch.
"I am a good old Woodford Countian. Always lived on the southern end. I grew up in Nonesuch, which is God's country, as is Troy," Carter Seal said.
She started the tradition in March 2020, answering the call from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to ring church bells each day at 10:00 a.m. Back then, she would drive down the road to her church.
"You would be surprised at the number of people that would call asking me to say a prayer while I ring the bell. Somehow it took on a significance that a prayer at home just couldn't," Carter Seal said.
When the weather got bad, she brought the bell ringing to her porch, and that's where the tradition continues.
Along with peace and prayer, the bell ringing has helped Peggy, too. She is a very social person, and through her small act, she has felt less isolated.
"That's why the pandemic hit me very hard because I'm used to going all the time," Carter Seal said. "I'm involved in a lot of volunteer work, a lot of social activities, and to think I was going to be home at the cabin by myself most of the time."
Carter Seal is proud she has been able to continue the service for herself and others. She says she'll continue it until cases seem to wane.
She urges others to get vaccinated and wear masks in hopes the bell ringing and the pandemic will soon come to an end.
"It's just a way for me to stay connected and feel like I'm doing a small part in this pandemic," she said.
This story was originally published by Claire Crouch on Scripps station WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.