CLEVELAND — It came on us last winter, although most of us felt its sting in spring -- a time when we look forward to leaving the insides of our homes and leaving a kind of hibernation behind.
But COVID-19 in spring pushed us back inside, and we turned inward. The sweeping sickness slowed our economic and educational and cultural pace at a time when we wanted to savor the full sweetness of spring.
In March, when the new season was getting its foothold, I became more philosophical about celebrating the little things. At the time I said, "Spring's renewal reminds me to be eternally hopeful for the future. Every day I look for more signs of spring's rebirth. The signs come slowly. But they do come."
That was two seasons ago. Spring and summer have now faded, but the pandemic still holds us, and surefire answers to fully defeat it still elude us.
Now, fall is here, and still we try to adjust to life, hoping to find some semblance of normal somewhere in the near future. There are moments of life as we remembered it, but even they are noticeably different no matter how hard we try our lives simply are not quite the same.
It has been a year of change. Events outside the virus have reshaped many of us to reflect on ourselves. Yes, this has been a year of big changes, and we are only three-quarters of the way through it.
Spring and summer. Pandemic and protests and politics. Hospitals overwhelmed by so many patients of the pandemic. And death, too, some of it on streets. Tears and peaceful marches. Violence and confrontations. All of this has had its effect on a public.
In the first three-quarters of this year, all these events and more have converged and left so many of us wondering and bewildered and, yes, weary. There are prayers for better times. After six months of being tested and often tossed about by the events of spring and summer, we have now crossed into autumn. Hopes are there will be no winter of despair.
Here's hoping with all we have faced, better times will fall into place.
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