Getting Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from Our Ancestors

How do we get through the COVID-19 pandemic? Lately, I’ve been compelled to read stories about how others have survived something. The circumstances are less important to me than how they got through—how they responded to and managed unexpected and uncontrollable adversity. Did survivors of other pandemics, wars, or adverse childhood experiences rise to the…

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How Do You Choose What COVID-19 Risks To Take?

Sidewalk Cafe

Now that it’s summer and many states (and countries) are opening back up after months of lockdown for COVID-19, how do you feel about being out and about? Have you changed your activity since April/May? Whether it’s by choice, a back-to-work mandate, or other circumstances, are you: Happy to be set free and willing to…

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Living through COVID-19: What are you reading?

What do people do all day

What are you reading these days? Are you keeping up with news reports tracking COVID-19 cases, your ever-evolving state’s and country’s social distancing rules, and vaccine and treatment developments? Maybe you are tracking the stock market, financial fallout, and monitoring the impact of the coronavirus and demonstrations on cities, businesses, and importantly, black people’s lives.…

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On identity: Who we are and who we are meant to be

In her memoir, Fairest, which debuted this week, Meredith Talusan dives deep into who she was, has become, and is now as she lives her chosen gender identity. She grew up an albino boy in a rural Philippine village, immigrated to America at age fifteen, graduated from Harvard University a gay man, and then transitioned…

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Getting through: On hope and fear, life and death

The weather in Minnesota is as unreliable as the coronavirus reports, as volatile as the stock market, and as uncertain as the likelihood of jobs and normalcy returning to our lives anytime soon. The sun winks at me between low, gray clouds as I close the door with my mittened hand and gingerly head across…

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Going outside your comfort zone: When is it worth the risk?

Good morning, sunshine. I didn’t know how desperately I needed you until I did. Your early morning caresses soothe me. Your midday beams energize me. And your steady presence, day after day—here in Hawaii—rejuvenates my spirit and confirms my impulsive decision to escape Minnesota during one of the grayest, dreariest, and iciest January’s on record.…

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Winter Solstice: Living in the Darkness of Light

Winter arrived early this year. Seven inches of heavy, wet, white fell like a weighted blanket on my November birthday. I typically love the first snowfall of the season, with the transformation from drab brown to feathery white, illuminating the darkness at night. But I wasn’t ready this year. The last big Minnesota snowfall was…

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Why Stress Makes Us Sick

  Well, not all stress makes us sick. Stress can motivate and energize us—it helps us perform better in front of an audience or get psyched for an adventure, like white-water rafting on the Colorado River in chilly November (shout-out to Mike, Eric, and Frederique!) or skydiving from 13,000 feet (“terrifying” and “freeing” says my…

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

“What were his symptoms?” was the most frequently asked question after finding out that my four-year-old had leukemia. At first, I was taken aback by the question. Why did it matter? I thought. We were in treatment now, moving on—at laser speed. I had no time to pause, to process the chaotic events leading up…

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