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From the Editor's Desk: Holding our collective breath

Jeramy holding his breath
Jeramy holding his breath (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

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.

COVID concerns

Mask emoji

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

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!

(Mis)information missteps

Hold breath emoji

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

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, and where!

Image 1 of 3

Hayato voted

Image 2 of 3

Jeramy voted

Image 3 of 3

Ara voted

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.

— Jeramy

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

18 Comments
  • 🙈🙉🙊 Yes, that is why religion & politics are off limits in Freemasonry, so as not to disrupt the harmony of the lodge. Yet I am reminded of my favourite quote... Yes, I had to read the remarkable "A Canticle of Leibowitz" by Walter Miller Jr. way back in highschool... In our public highschool, it was a way for our English teacher (of Catholic faith) to bring some interesting subjects to the table.. "It was never any better, it never will be any better. Only richer or poorer, sadder but not wiser, until the very last day." ....That quote is about as real as it gets, if the course of human history is to be arbitrated honestly. It is bang on in regards to politics.
  • I spent September and October in ICU on a ventilator and nearly died. I spent a month in hospital and when I got home I was too weak to go out for months. Just as I was beginning to get my life back Covid struck and lockdown ensued. Since then it has continued to be a difficult year. I am high risk with comorbidities and I try to avoid catching covid. For me I need to write off 2019 and 2020 as this last 13 months has been a living nightmare.
  • So sorry to hear about your health problems. Will pray that you get stronger and better.
  • We are screwed either way. Both candidates are terrible and that's what we get with a 2 party system. Maybe one day we will get back to having solid choice of candidates for big elections/political positions.
  • "Politics is downstream of culture."
    If politics has gotten so bad, we have only ourselves (citizens) to blame.
  • Well you're not wrong there. 
  • Well-said, Jeramy. Thank you.
  • I would appreciate it if AC sticks primarily to Android and tech related topics. Throw in a "and don't forget to vote" at the end of an article, sure ok. But it sure would be nice to have a few safe havens on the internet that don't get into divisive political drama and such.
  • I would appreciate if I didn't see your comment. We can't always get what we want.
  • Nor do we have to patronize this site either. Many in these spaces feel that along with what the site was made for. They feel compelled to toss in their social and political views. This is the same reasons why places like ESPN and Sports channel have had their ratings plummet over the last couple of years for the dame reason. This on it's face is quite benign. There have been other articles and responses by the people here that have been downright partisan. One or two leaving isn't going to make a hill of beans. Keep doing this though and you'll lose your audience like ESPN and others. We come here to learn about what's new in tech and what's happening in the mobile space. Try to move to something more divisive and watch your site disappear.
  • I agree. I wanted this site to never give political views and just discuss tech but unfortunately it's gone that way. The worst was when that scumbag floyd got killed.
  • The concern noted is not unfair nor peevish, but your reply is.
  • I have a bad feeling that Trump is going to win.
  • Same. I'm dreading Tuesday.
  • Hopefully he does.
  • I don't think you're going to get that crooked, narcissistic sociopath to leave office win or lose.
  • Yep, 4 more years of that wind bag. But hopefully the senate goes the other way, making him a true lame duck.
  • If you think 2020 has been bad...just wait until you witness the destruction of all false religion very soon to take place earth wide...don't believe me...you'll see soon enough and when you do you'll remember this post.