I have a feeling that in a hopefully better, not-too-distant future, the year 2020 will be one of those "third-rail" topics that no one wants to discuss in group settings. You know the topics I'm talking about, right? Typically they revolve around religion, politics, and money. I think for those of us who are fortunate enough to make it through 2020, we'll not want to spend much time reminiscing about this year at the dinner tables, happy hours, or get-togethers of the future.
Ironically, 2020 kind of rolls all of those untouchable topics into one. Environmental and economic disasters, social and cultural unrest, and the worst public health crisis in a century. There was something else... what was it? Oh yeah, a hugely divisive presidential election here in the U.S.! Now, I don't know about you, but all these stressors coming to a head on Tuesday have had me figuratively (and literally) holding my breath. But that's not really a healthy or helpful thing to do, so what's the alternative? How can we release this pent up stress and get through the next few days relatively unscathed? Information, education, and precaution.
This past week has seen another spike in COVID-19 cases across many parts of the U.S., which couldn't come at a worse time. With the election only days away, and most early/absentee voting over or limited at this point, millions of Americans will be fulfilling their civic duty by going to the polls to cast their votes in person and risking their health and the health of others in the process.
If you're among the many eligible voters who have yet to cast their ballot, I encourage you to do so still, so long as you are able. Of course, you should follow all precautions set forth at the polling station, including staying six feet apart from others, wearing a mask, limiting exposure to surfaces, using hand sanitizer and any finger-cots or supplies available, and washing your hands thoroughly as soon as you can. Common-sense measures can be powerful, indeed!
The other big stressor centers around concerns of misinformation and voter intimidation around Tuesday's U.S. presidential election. Here on AC, we've had quite a bit of coverage over the past several months on what big tech companies are doing to support U.S. voters and stem the tide of misinformation on websites, blogs, and social media.
When you're researching candidates and reading the news, remember your critical thinking skills and consider the sources. Yes, there are bad players out to trick you, but there are many reputable sources of information as well. Find those and try not to fall down any errant rabbit holes.
Smile behind the mask!
When you're done voting, take pride in your civic accomplishment, and by all means, share that sticker with the world! Just remember to consider your state's policies and/or laws on what photos you can take (opens in new tab), and where!
As stressful as this year has been and these next few days will undoubtedly be, please remember to take care of yourself and those around you, and not just your friends and loved ones. We all have our parts to play when it comes to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and we all have our parts to play in our democracy. Thoughtfulness and compassion can go a long way towards improving our country and our planet as we close out this dumpster fire of a year. 🔥
Whatever happens on Tuesday night and throughout the rest of the week, please remember:
- Everyone's vote matters and should count, so PLEASE VOTE;
- Everyone's voice matters and should count; so BE RESPECTFUL;
- Your health matters, so TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES.