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Struggling to make sense of the world? You're not alone

2+ years of loss, stagnation, loneliness and more, have us all grasping

Photo Credit: Zach Peterson (@zachprague) who took this picture on Bird Lake, just outside of Hoyt Lakes, MN.

(This is the opening essay from this week's edition of my Sunday Note, which is brought to you by Armory Square Ventures. See their message in this week's newsletter.)

IT’S TOUGH not to be frustrated right now. We’re setting records for Covid19 infections, hospitals across the country are — once again — reaching capacity, and, their widespread availability and undeniable effectiveness, vaccination rates have plateaued.

This is all familiar territory. This time, however, governmental response at all levels has been fall short, and at times embarrassing — summed up perfectly in this incredible tweet:

Schools are reopening - right up until they close again, and there really doesn’t seem to be a true “end” in sight. School closures have proven divisive, but I just don’t think we should be enrolling the youth of America and their educators in a grand crusade for U.S.-style capitalism without their outright consent.

In Oakland, students are organizing:

To me, the entire debate over school closures and other potential lockdown/quarantine measures is just a veneer that shields us from the real issue at hand: We are arriving at the breaking point of the grand American experiment.

I was struck by this tweet from Aaron Freedman:

It’s shocking. And it’s right. The underlying discussion since about the second week of the pandemic — 56 years ago in 2020 — has always been centered on “getting America back to work.” It was never, “how do we band together and help the most people we can for as long as we need to,” and it was never going to be.

These charts remind me of the Sandy Hook school shooting in a lot of ways, and all that we didn’t learn from it as a nation. We just decided, as a country, that it was ok for small children to mowed down by an angry teenager with an assault rifle. It may be hard to hear, but it’s true — and there are more guns in American households than ever before.

Here we are again. Officially, just under 850,000 people have died from Covid19 — a number that is almost assuredly low. There is an entire political movement built around the idea that “liberals” are lying about a million deaths — so so many of which were completely avoidable. It’s so tragic. And it’s so frustrating.

And it’s frankly hard to make sense of it all. Managing ever-shifting work schedules, remote work, at-risk in-person work, family and school — managing LIFE — is hard enough without a raging pandemic!

I keep coming back to just how avoidable all of this was. That’s the tough part. How avoidable was Donald Trump’s presidency? How avoidable were hundreds of thousands of deaths in America — and countless more around the world?

So much pain and suffering, and so much of it avoidable with a free vaccine easily available - at least in the US.

The reason we are in this position because a section of Americans - everyday folks, along with leaders and influencers - have made vaccines, masks and science “unAmerican.” I’ll let Fareed Zakaria have the last word here (if you missed it, he inspired a November newsletter):

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