Editor’s Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY’s newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.
“Good things can still happen.”
I said those words through tears this Sunday while “attending” a Zoom wedding for two of my dear friends from college. The couple had originally planned to wed later this year, but decided to push their in-person reception to 2021 and say their legal and spiritual vows now, choices I completely understood. Times of crisis make you cling to the people you love.
If you were wondering if Zoom weddings are actually worth it, I will answer with a resounding “yes.” I sobbed like a baby as I watched my two beautiful friends exchange vows, six feet from their officiant while a masked photographer clicked away. The sun shined. The birds chirped. Only the bride’s parents were able to be present, the couple having quarantined with them from the start. The groom’s parents and the entire wedding party toasted from afar, but their smiles beamed brightly through the computer screen.
I was sitting at my kitchen table in a dress, makeup (for the first time in three months), dangly earrings and a fancy hat. I started off feeling a bit silly, scrolling through the dozens of tiny squares of guests searching for friends I knew. My husband played on his phone while we waited through some technical difficulties that delayed the start of the ceremony. But once it began, once the officiant spoke about love, family and perseverance, once the couple made vows and shared a kiss, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t in New Hampshire with them. It only mattered that they were happy and I was happy for them. Good things can still happen, even in quarantine, even as the world is scary. And it’s worth reminding ourselves of that.
Many families across the country are having some tough but necessary conversations about racism and white privilege after the protests following George Floyd’s death created a tipping point in the national dialogue. However, it’s not exactly easy to talk about our own internal biases and mistakes. My great colleague Sara Moniuszko spoke with experts for advice about how to broach these subjects thoughtfully and sensitively . Here is an excerpt of their advice:
“We must remember that real learning – about anything – only actually happens when we are uncomfortable,” Dr. Amanda Taylor, senior adjunct professorial lecturer, School of International Service at American University, explained. “For white people who have been engaged in the ongoing process of antiracist learning, I think it is very important that we actively commit to doing the work to support the learning and growth of our white friends, colleagues, and family members, even – and especially – when it is hard.”
See our full guide here. And I’m proud of everyone doing this hard work.
In the timeline of the pandemic, we’re in a strange and scary moment. In many parts of the country, virus cases and hospitalizations are surging (if you’re there, stay safe, I’m thinking of you). Our health team gathered medical experts to answer some of our readers’ questions about the virus and best practices for keeping yourselves and your communities safe. Here are a few good tips for how to get your kids to wear masks:
Who needs a puppy to look at? I do! Meet George.
Says his grandma Marcia Linch, “Like many of us, he has enjoyed eating as his pandemic pastime. Since this picture was taken in April, he has tripled in size.”
I bet you look great, George.