Alaskans are known for sucking the marrow out of summer. Camping, fishing, hiking, bonfires, cookouts all kick into high gear from May to mid-September. This year, however, we ought to be a bit more deliberate.
After enduring a year of endless calls to “keep our distance,” stay home, self quarantine and cover our faces, we need to intentionally reach out to family, friends and neighbors. Social ties are thread bare in the wake of COVID, which does not bode well for our common communal life together.
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The best way to avoid demonizing and categorizing one another is to break bread or raise a glass around the fire. If your friends feel the need to mask, let them. You don’t have to agree, but we need to meet each other when and where we can. There is so much more to life than masking, vaxing and distancing debates. We need to reestablish these deeper human bonds, even if it’s a bit awkward at times.
It’s time to rediscover the joy of being with family and friends – even those whose political views we adamantly oppose. There will be no healing – and little laughter – if we cannot savor a brilliant Alaskan summer together.