As our nation exceeds a half million deaths from coronavirus, the magnitude of that loss is hard to articulate, even harder to grasp. It’s roughly the equivalent of losing the entire population of Madison, Wis. — twice. The time stolen will never be found, but we must use this cataclysmic collective grief as an impetus to remember that kindness and compassion are still needed. Especially in this time of continued social distancing, though with intensifying light provided by national vaccination that is slowly ramping up, it is important to do all we still can at a distance and in all modes of communication and in other thoughtful acts both large and small to look after those who have been most directly affected.

Over a half million families are grieving, and, as a nation, we certainly grieve with them. We must also lift up those who are struggling due to job loss, or from health challenges brought on by surviving the virus, or from the encouraged distance that can lead to feeling less connected. And a small act of concern for our neighbors is the continued use of masks to help protect others, though this act is also scientifically known to protect ourselves. Wearing a mask is not placating to government tyranny; it is a sign of solidarity with our neighbors and friends that we are doing all we can to cut down this cruel foe from taking another million beautiful, vibrant lives from the priceless mosaic of our collective national community.

Jenny Kuderer, Goodview

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