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The coronavirus pandemic isn’t over. But cases are going down in America, partially thanks to the Moderna vaccine Dolly Parton helped to fund. Despite the state of things, Parton was quite busy over the last year.

“I can’t stay still: Even during the pandemic, I was working on new projects all the time. While practicing social distancing with my people, of course,” she wrote in her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.

But Parton didn’t just help to fund the Moderna vaccine, she also brought comfort to millions and encouraged people to mask up.

Dolly Parton performs during A Night Of Covenant House Stars on May 18, 2020.
Dolly Parton | Covenant House International/Getty Images for A Night of Covenant House Stars

Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help fund research for the Moderna vaccine

Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s COVID research in April 2020 to aid in the research for the Moderna vaccine. Parton is no stranger to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received treatment there when she was in a car crash in 2013.

“I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else,” she told Today in November 2020. “When I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good, and evidently it is!”

Dolly Parton’s ‘When Life is Good Again’ and message to mask up

“The Nashville music community lost stars like Joe Diffie and John Prine to COVID-19, and Dolly’s Wild Texas Wind pal Ray Benson was among those diagnosed,” reads Parton’s 2020 book, which was co-authored by Robert K. Oermann.

When Parton is touched by something, she writes a song. The US death toll passed 100,000 the week she released “When Life Is Good Again.”

When life is good again
I’ll be a better friend
A bigger person when
Life is good again

More thoughtful than I’ve been
I’ll be so different then
More in the moment when
Life is good again

“When Life Is Good Again” by Dolly Parton

The music video ends with these words: “Be safe, be respectful, wear your mask, lead with love. —Dolly.”

Throughout the pandemic, Parton has been sure to wear a mask that represents her — “If I’m gonna wear a mask, it’s gotta have guitars on it, right?”

‘I really think that we’re to be learning a lot from this’

This past year, Parton learned a lot about patience.

“I’ve known that I’ve just always just been able to just go, go, go, had the freedom to work, go wherever I needed to go,” she told USA Today in Aug. 2020. “I’m learning a lot more responsibility. I think I was a fairly good person, but I think I’m going to be a better person after all this is over.”


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Parton also offered some advice for those struggling.

“I really think that we’re to be learning a lot from this,” she said. “I know I am personally, but it is scary and it is crazy. You don’t know what’s going on, and these days, you don’t even know how much it’s political or whatever.

“You just have to pray, if you’re a faith-based person, for strength. If not, you just have to keep your wits about you and lean on your higher wisdom to know that things happen, and most things we get through, and usually we come out better on the other side.”