I hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy in these trying times. After more than two years of social isolation and economic and political disruption during the global pandemic, it seems that we are finally returning to somewhat of a “new normal.”
Never before have we faced so many historic challenges at once. The pandemic threatened our health and our very lives, a sharp economic downturn has brought severe hardship to so many, and we have struggled to keep our kids engaged in remote schooling. Compounding the public health crisis has been the worsening climate crisis, as our glorious summers have been choked off by acrid smoke from hellish wildfires, reminding us that the environmental threat to our global life-support system is here and now and demands urgent action.
As if the public health, economic and ecological crises aren’t enough, our country has been gripped by social unrest and political dysfunction. A national uprising over race and policing forced us to reckon with our history of injustice – which spurred me into action. A sharply polarized political environment has largely paralyzed governance at the federal level, even to the point of blatant disregard for the rule of law. The post-pandemic economic uncertainty has aroused anxiety, only worsened by the adverse economic effects of our urgent response to Putin’s shockingly barbaric military invasion of Ukraine.
It’s hard to be optimistic these days! Nevertheless, I hope we are emerging stronger from these challenges, although we certainly have a long way to go in such stressful and uncertain times.