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The top 10 things I have learned from the new coronavirus

To the editor:

1. Isolation can be very lonely. “Over the fence” conversations with neighbors are a lifesaver.

2. I can use Zoom and GoToMeeting to stay connected with family, friends, co-workers and fellow parishioners of Keene Valley Congregational Church.

3. Competence, compassion, wisdom and common sense are essential qualities of effective leaders. Thankfully, our state and local elected officials are displaying these qualities every hour of every day.

4. I probably need my dog more than she needs me.

5. Walking with the aforementioned dog and encountering (at a 6-foot distance), the aforementioned neighbors are the best tonics for depression.

6. I live in a wonderful community, where people rally in a crisis to help one another, however they can. I have faith that my town government will protect our community to the best of its ability.

7. I need to keep paying attention to other national, state and local issues. While I have been preoccupied by the impact of the virus, issues such as the climate crisis, the plight of refugees and victims of war and violence, income inequality, homelessness, institutional racism, barriers to educational and economic opportunity, environmental protection, access to health care, and the survival of working families and the middle class are still very much alive.

8. We are all worried about people we love. They may be our grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, spouses, children, siblings, in-laws, step family members, teachers, mentors, friends, co-workers or others with whom we feel bonded. We all want our loved ones to survive.

9. Elections do, indeed, have consequences. My hope is that in the future, we will evaluate presidential candidates on their qualifications, executive experience, understanding of domestic and foreign policy issues and challenges, understanding of economics, selflessness, understanding of the challenges facing working families, and ability to anticipate and rise to the challenges that will confront them; that we will elect an executive who understands that the role of federal agencies is to serve the American people — all 330 million of us — and not just the interests of corporations and billionaires.

10. My garden needs me — as it always does at this time of year. I will rake out the dead leaves, dog poop and detritus, transplant hostas and other perennials, and feel the hot sun beating down on my back as I rake in compost and manure. I will get dirt under my fingernails and on the knees of my pants. In the words of the immortal Winston Churchill, I “will never surrender.” Those words apply not only in the garden, but in life.

Henrietta Jordan

Keene Valley