COVID-19 strikes the Family

Over the last few months, we’ve celebrated birthdays, I’ve changed roles at work, we’ve gone to restaurants, we’ve found reliable babysitters, we purchased a new car, and next week Megan returns to work after a 6 year break. As the United States still suffers from the worst pandemic outcomes in the world, there is still a degree of normalcy that is returning. Our country is having a very bipolar recovery – the stock market is returning to pre-pandemic levels while unemployment hangs around 12%; we can’t leave our homes without a mask. I’m still working at home and this may not change until next February. I’m just happy to have a job.

Until last week, we felt safe and relatively unscathed. In India, my relatives have not been as lucky. My grandmother passed away last week; we’re not sure whether it was COVID related. However, my aunt passed away soon after with COVID and my uncles and close relatives have tested positive. They are all well-educated – doctors and engineers. We suspect that they trusted each other enough to let down their guard and it spread among them. We hope that they recover in the hospital soon. It’s scary to think that we may soon lose all our ties to India.

The Democratic National Convention was this week. It was a virtual four-day event capped off with a speech by Joe Biden. It was very good. Everyone has had to make big adjustments to maintain social distancing; I think they made great compromises and in some ways, improved upon the physical format for the convention. Surprisingly, there were moments that were more intimate. There were speakers who shared deeply personal stories. The Republican Convention is next week. I don’t know what to expect, or whether I have enough of an open mind to watch any part of it.

Election Day 2020 (November 3rd) is coming. Mail-in voting will be popular to but it has become a political issue in this stupid culture war. 5,000,000 are infected and 170,000 are dead. Instead of controlling a public health crisis, we’re fighting over whether wearing a mask is an invasion of constitutional rights. The country has had major protests around racial inequality. The last three years have wrecked our reputation around the world and our state department has lost most of its talent. We need to get people to vote!

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