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      Jenny Livingston

        In the last year and a half, I’ve witnessed and experienced many things that have been frustrating: the judgement for wearing masks (at the age of 11, my daughter was bullied over masks and politics), the lack of compassion for those who are vulnerable or deemed “less than” by society, the harmful conspiracies and politicization of medicine and science. Truly, the things that have been disheartening to me could go on for quite sometime.

        But today, I’d rather focus on the positive things . During this pandemic, people I would have never expected to came out of the woodwork to check my family. They sent lovely messages, offered to do my grocery shopping, and gave me extra masks and hand sanitizer when they worried I wouldn’t be able to find them in stores. I saw families in my community come together to offer food and financial assistance to those who were sick or out of work.

        Things like telehealth and work-from-home options suddenly came together, providing greater accessibility for the disabled and chronically ill. (Although I believe those options should have been made available long ago, I’m choosing to focus on gratitude for them now.)

        The pace of life seemed to slow considerably. Suddenly, we were spending more time than ever at home with loved ones. We learned what was most important and which things may not have been as important as we previously thought.

        These are the things and lessons I hope we remember and carry with us as we move forward: compassion, accessibility, kindness, and a slower-paced, love-filled life.

        If anything, what do you think the silver linings of this pandemic have been and what do you hope we carry with us and we emerge from it?

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