Inspired to defend their country and pursue greater opportunity, African Americans have served in the U.S. military for generations. But instead of being treated as equal members of society upon their return from military service, thousands of Black veterans were accosted, attacked, or lynched between the end of the Civil War and the post-World War II era.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, white supremacy remained law and custom throughout the nation, and many whites feared that Black soldiers who had experienced the pride of military service would resist the disenfranchisement, segregation, and second-class citizenship that still characterized the African American experience. In August 1917, U.S. Senator James Vardaman of Mississippi warned that, once a Black soldier was allowed to see himself as an American hero, it would be “but a short step to the conclusion that his political rights must be respected.” Bringing Black soldiers home to the South with expectations of equality, he predicted, would “inevitably lead to disaster.”
From professor and author Timothy Snyder:
“This one, from Polish, is about trauma, so I thought it might be fitting for May 31st, which in the United States is Memorial Day.”
‘After the Storm’ by Maria Konopnicka, from 1902.
[“The titular storm is never actually described. It is between the stanzas, in the past.”]
Oh lord, who grants to his world the rainbow
Who lifts to bent flowers a cup from below
Who unfolds the wings of the chick in the nest
Who purples the clouds that escape to the west
By morning the village is free from all care
Here an apple tree’s tended, a roof repaired there
And ere the young dawn can cast its first light
The good country folk have forgotten their fright
Oh lord, who every last trace of discord
Erases from earth by a merciful word
And stills forest’s fierce cry and ocean’s low moan
In the all-quiet heavens where you have your throne
Yet to the wrecked human heart, shattered by storm
Instead of the peace of the spectrum’s calm glow
You give endless thunder without sound or form
Echoes of storms past, memory’s woe.
Konopnicka is out of fashion now, even in Poland. The painting by Józef Chełmoński, of the same era (1896), reminds us of the sensibility.
“There is something sharp here: the confession in the last stanza. Her brave point is that a conceit of art, that nature expresses the soul, that outer appearances reveal inner experiences, is false. A storm means one thing in nature, and another inside a person.
So this is a poem about trauma that acknowledges God, but as something other than consolation. God and nature are on one side, and the person is on the other. The poem is not hopeless, though: by placing her predicament beyond God and nature, Konopnicka is taking responsibility for defining it herself. She does so, I think, rather beautifully.”
[Posted on Twitter by Jonathan Reiner: “Omaha Beach Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France.”]
The conversation between both of these writers is one that starts in the artistry of their work and includes questions about the imagination, and power, and about what constitutes liberative transformation. And the scope of history they focus on is wide: “These threats we live subject to… are the grotesque and perverse ends to which a nation founded in shame has gone in order to avoid atoning for its crimes.”
The conversation between both of these writers is one that starts in the artistry of their work and includes questions about the imagination, and power, and about what constitutes liberative transformation. And the scope of history they focus on is wide: “These threats we live subject to… are the grotesque and perverse ends to which a nation founded in shame has gone in order to avoid atoning for its crimes.” -Pádraig Ó Tuama
It wasn’t until I saw an episode from The Watchmen that I learned of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. A dysfunctional childhood took me to 16 schools in nine years, and not one teacher, not one, taught this history. -dayle
For events in Tulsa, Oklahoma beginning on May 31st follow the link for more information and to join virtually.
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission will leverage the rich history surrounding the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by facilitating actions, activities, and events that commemorate and educate all citizens.
“Join us for the official unveiling of Greenwood Rising: The Black Wall Street History Center at 11:29 a.m.”
Jun 2, 2021
Stacey Abrams Announced as Keynote Speaker for Nationally Televised Commemoration
“Local Tulsa company, ONE Gas, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in historic Greenwood District through the ONE Gas Foundation. This donation will create a long-lasting generational impact in the Tulsa community, and we could not be more grateful.”
The Tulsa Tribune inflamed the massacre and then wrote a scathing editorial in the days that followed. -dayle
Black Wall Street 100 and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
‘On May 25th, The Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho and the Idaho Humanities Council welcomed Hannibal B. Johnson, author of “Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples With Its Historical Racial Trauma,” for a virtual conversation about the history and continuing implications of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Johnson was in conversation with David Pettyjohn, executive director of the Idaho Humanities Council, and Jenny Emery Davidson, executive director of The Community Library. The discussion can be viewed at the link.’ [1:05:00]
“Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma, endorsed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and the 400 Years of African American History Commission, furthers the educational mission of both bodies. The book offers updates on developments in Tulsa generally and in Tulsa’s Greenwood District specifically since the publication of Hannibal B. Johnson’s, Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District.
Black Wall Street 100 is a window into what distinguishes the Tulsa of today from the Tulsa of a century ago. Before peering through that porthole, we must first reflect on Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District in all its splendor and squalor, from the prodigious entrepreneurial spirit that pervaded it to the carnage that characterized the 1921 massacre to the post-massacre rebound and rebuilding that raised the District to new heights to the mid-twentieth-century decline that proved to be a second near-fatal blow to the current recalibration and rebranding of a resurgent, but differently configured, community.
Tulsa’s trajectory may be instructive for other communities similarly seeking to address their own histories of racial trauma. Conversely, Tulsa may benefit from learning more about the paths taken by other communities. Through sharing and synergy, we stand a better chance of doing the work necessary to spur healing and move farther toward the reconciliation of which we so often speak.” [Amazon]
We’re not in a race to check off as many boxes as we possibly can before we are out of time. Instead, we have the chance to use the time to create moments that matter. Because they connect us, because they open doors, because the moments, added up, create a life.
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be.
If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. The logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.
Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here—time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.
Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. . . . Without non-paper elements, like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.” –Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh
What do you see?
‘I bring a sun-shift to others when I shift my light. Darkness does not exist in the light.’ [A Course in Miracles.]
If you feel uncomfortable with anything, you should re-consider your situation.
Cut your losses.
Far better to admit a mistake than to persist in it and allow it to develop into a nightmare.
Visibility of the total phase in the contiguous U.S., at 7:11 a.m. ET. Totality can be seen everywhere in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, along with Texas, Oklahoma, western Kansas, Hawaii and Alaska.
“Our world thrives on dualities, our systems depend upon it, and participating in separation has become so normalized that it feels as natural as breathing.
How can we create balance within our selves? We change the system by changing the people who keep it alive, and that change begins with ourselves.
We contain within us the same fundamental forces that are found in nature: stability (tamas), energy (rajas), and harmony or basic goodness (sattva). These are called gunas in Sanskrit.
These three intertwine, in various ways, to create everything (visible and invisible) in the universe and within ourselves as well. All of this weaving together happens without us being conscious of it, but we can learn to pay attention to their individual characteristics so we can figure out how they work and how we can work with them.
The Gunas in Nature and Within
A sattvic world is one of abundance, beauty, order, and balance.
To achieve sattva, things need to get moving, and rajas is the guna that makes that happen.
Rajas governs the beginning of the life cycle, brings birth and growth. It’s what causes a seed to grow into a plant and the plant to flower.
Tamas predominates the end of the life cycle; it’s the destructive force that causes the plant to break apart, die back, and return to the soil. Sattva is the time in between, when the flower is in full bloom and beauty is all around us. Nothing can live without energy (rajas) There can be no harvest, no beauty without sativa, and there can be no rebirth without tamas.
All of nature depends on a healthy relationship between creation and destruction, rajas and tamas, to support the health and the vitality of the planet and all who abide there (sattva).
Just like in nature, our physical and mental health depend on the proper interplay among the gunas. When all three gunas are in balance, everything arises (rajas), abides (sattva), and dissolves (tamas), whether we’re talking about the life cycle of a plant, an idea, a pose, or a stage of life. 🌏
Rajas is the in-breath; tamas, the out-breath; and sattva, the gap in between, the silence where liberation can happen, where magic resides, and where everything is whole.” -Seane Corn
Bruce Springsteen receives the 2021 Woody Guthrie prize. Here’s the full setlist, his homage to Woody.
1) Tom Joad
3) Across the Border
4) The Ghost of Tom Joad
‘Bruce Springsteen has been awarded the annual Woody Guthrie Prize. He will accept the honor on May 13th during a virtual event for Woody Guthrie Center members. “I’m honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize,” Springsteen said in a statement.’ [Rolling Stone]
“Woody wrote some of the greatest songs about America’s struggle to live up its ideals in convincing fashion,” Springsteen said in a statement.
Despite the fact that many of my vaccinated friends and I are tentatively stepping into one another’s homes and reveling in the simple joy of sitting at one another’s kitchen tables, despite the fact that I took my first hike without a mask on in over a year, despite the fact that my kids’ school says it will be fully open and in person in the fall–the pandemic is not over.
I was reminded of this as I was standing around a playground on Sunday and got a WhatsApp message from a friend, someone with relatives in India. She wrote, in part:
My elderly aunt is battling covid. She was taking care of a dying husband and a disabled son. Now my uncle is dead and the government came and took his body away. My other cousin went to the crematorium alone. No last rites, expect my uncle who lives on the block, broke the rules and snuck outside to just watch the body being taken away. There is no point to this story beyond my grief and my rage and the unshakable pain that this is how it unfolds.
My grief and my rage and the unshakable pain that this is how it unfolds.
We have to remember that our joy is profoundly relative and propped up by a thousand unearned privileges. Relationships are a universal foundation—a richness that survives in every corner of the globe no matter the structural constraints. My friend’s uncle snuck outside, despite the danger. This is what we humans do.
But our ability to revel in and honor our friends and family are often influenced by economics and nationality and gender and race and so much else. In other words, we are profoundly connected by our need for relationships and profoundly severed by our differential capacity to nurture those relationships in this moment. To be healthy. To be healed. To be safe.
We are in a moment of transitions—all the way from the most intimate to the most global. Let us treasure our joy, our small, safe re-openings and reconnections, all the while holding the truth that so many are still in acute danger and pain.”
In social psychology, there’s a well-established principle that a common enemy is supposed to bring people together. But shortly after the pandemic arrived, the U.S. saw a partisan divide over masks, screaming crowds outside state capitols and death threats against health officials.
It quickly became apparent that, even in a crisis, Americans were finding it difficult to come together. So it’s no wonder that the federal government’s new mask guidance has been greeted with reluctance — especially when fewer than half of Americans over 12 are fully vaccinated.
Celeste, a newsletter reader from Dayton, Ohio, wrote in with her own experience.
“The first day of The Great Unmasking at work went exactly as you’d expect: people who have previously bragged about not being vaccinated walking around without masks on,” she wrote. “Assuming people would act unselfishly to protect others goes against everything we’ve seen so far this pandemic.”
The C.D.C. is also asking Americans to trust one another at a time when faith in institutions and their neighbors is particularly fragile. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report on Trust and Distrust in America, trust in the federal government was near record lows, and seven in 10 people said they thought that Americans’ trust in one another had declined over the past 20 years.
“Betrayal is the wound that cuts the deepest.”
Boise State Public Radio
Most people in the Mountain West are still unvaccinated. Idaho has the second-lowest rate in the region with only 34% of its residents getting one or more doses.
COVID-19 vaccine supplies are now abundant – nationally about 60% of adults have had at least one shot.
“At least here in Casper, (Wyo.), you can go to the clinic and pick one of the three vaccines. It’s like a menu: I want Moderna, I want Pfizer, I want Johnson & Johnson. We have that much vaccine now,” said Mark Dowell, an infectious diseases physician and Natrona County health officer.
Even so, most people in the Mountain West are still unvaccinated. And Wyoming has the region’s lowest vaccination rate with about a third of residents with at least one shot. Idaho is a close second at about 34% of its residents with one or more doses.
To achieve herd immunity, epidemiologists have suggested we need about 70% of people to be immune, though that number is hard to pin down without more research.
Dowell said we also don’t know how many people actually were infected with COVID-19, how many of those built up antibodies, and how long those antibodies might last.
“We think that for every one infection, there may have been one or two more that had symptoms that went undetected,” he said.
Even if we could figure out how many were infected, he said we still have one big unanswered question: “Of the people that had the infection but didn’t know it, did they get good protection from their immune system to add to our herd immunity?”
We also don’t know how long the vaccines will stave off the virus, though many expect them to offer protection for at least a year.
Dowell says it could take several months to figure out how much of the virus we’ve stopped, saying, “The proof of the pudding will be next fall and winter when everybody’s inside again.”
At the same time, areas with low rates of immunity and high rates of spread could allow the virus to mutate into a more dangerous strain.
“That’s another reason to get vaccinated, to head off the mutations,” he said. “The worry is that you’ll find a variant eventually that will not really be covered by the vaccines.”
Dowell said he is continually talking to patients who believe in false conspiracy theories about the vaccine, ranging from it causing infertility to vaccines actually being tracking microchips from Bill Gates. At the same time, he still hopes he can convince more people to get it.
“When you’ve seen people die horrible deaths from COVID, it changes your perspective on things,” he said. “I had a close, healthy friend that died of COVID way before we had the vaccines. And it was a rough death. I sat at his bedside as he died, as we took him off the ventilator … it’s rough.”
Insight by Zeynep/5.18.21
Guest essay on why novelty means severity, and why so many questions about variants, children, Long Covid, endemicity and more revolve around that very notion by Dylan Morris, PhD.
. Nothing in this pandemic makes sense except in the light of novelty.
‘…wealthy countries have two choices for how the global pandemic ends: via natural infection or via vaccination. We should choose vaccination.’
‘Remembering that novelty means severity helps us see that the vaccines provide cause for hope, even if SARS-CoV-2 manages to stay with us for years. SARS-CoV-2 might stick around; the COVID-19 pandemic will struggle to do so.
But it also makes clear that those of us in wealthy countries have two choices for how the global pandemic ends: via natural infection or via vaccination. We should choose vaccination. And we must commit to that choice now. We don’t have much time.’
I continue to think where we’d be as a country right now with this pandemic if it had not been allowed, and encouraged, to become political. Hundreds of thousands did not need to die. -dayle
“One day some historian will look back and say how remarkable it was that these strange folk who called themselves ‘Americans’ governed themselves at all, given how they went about it.” -Michael Lewis [p.78.]
💯%: “…this was a major blunder that threatens to set back much of the progress made. President Biden needs to fix it, urgently […] for the public good.” -Dr Leana Wen
While many people happily shed their masks and celebrated the apparent end of the pandemic, others areconcerned that with only 37 percent of the country fully vaccinated, this relaxation is premature and could lead to a resurgence of infections
The CDC’s mask guidance is a mess. Biden needs to clean it up.
This was an astounding strategic and tactical mistake. It will have lasting repercussions unless the White House steps in to clean up the CDC’s mess. As a start, the administration should clarify that while vaccinated people are generally not at risk, the unvaccinated are still at high risk. Therefore, if there is no reliable way to verify vaccination status, indoor mask mandates must still remain in place.
“We do not have enough vaccinated; we are seeing frequent emergence of new variants[…]Relaxing NPIs (masks/distancing) before adequate vaccine coverage could result in tremendous loss of potentially averted cases, hospitalizations & mortality.” -Dr. David Pate, Idaho Covid Task Force
Please. Just a little while longer.
This is the only herd we’re going to have if you don’t vaccinate.
ProPublica updated this report from September, 2020. I missed it the first time published, and now already seeing population shifts in the Mountain West, specifically, the Wood River Valley in South-Central Idaho. -dayle
This article, the second in a series on global migration caused by climate change, is a result of a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center.
Senior citizens at a cooling center in Phoenix [summer 2020] during Arizona’s record-setting heat wave. (Meridith Kohut for The New York Times)
Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration
“Wildfires rage in the West. Hurricanes batter the East. Droughts and floods wreak damage throughout the nation. Life has become increasingly untenable in the hardest-hit areas, but if the people there move, where will everyone go?
The millions of people moving north will mostly head to the cities of the Northeast and Northwest, which will see their populations grow by roughly 10%, according to one model. Once-chilly places like Minnesota and Michigan and Vermont will become more temperate, verdant and inviting. Vast regions will prosper; just as Hsiang’s research forecast that Southern counties could see a tenth of their economy dry up, he projects that others as far as North Dakota and Minnesota will enjoy a corresponding expansion. Cities like Detroit; Rochester, New York; Buffalo and Milwaukee will see a renaissance, with their excess capacity in infrastructure, water supplies and highways once again put to good use. One day, it’s possible that a high-speed rail line could race across the Dakotas, through Idaho’s up-and-coming wine country and the country’s new breadbasket along the Canadian border, to the megalopolis of Seattle, which by then has nearly merged with Vancouver to its north.”
Sun Valley’s Population Explodes During Pandemic Year
Eye on Sun Valley
STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK
Blaine County gained as many new residents this past year as the previous seven combined, according to data collected by Sun Valley Economic Development.
Population increased by seven percent, compared with an average 1 percent growth over the past 20 years, SVED’s David Patrie told those attending Visit Sun Valley’s spring meeting on Wednesday.
Patrie says the picture is incomplete and that SVED is trying to sort it all out. But here’s what we do know:
There are at least 1,300 new residents in Blaine county that are voting and driving here. Assuming 20 percent of those has a child, that’s at least 1,500 new residents.
The DMV issued 923 new licenses to people from 48 states this past year. That does not include people who moved here from Boise and other parts of the state. Getting a driver’s license means these people are probably planning to stay, Patrie said.
New driver’s licenses were issued to 326 Californians, 126 Washingtonians, 61 Oregonians, 49 Coloradans, 31 Utahns and 25 Nevadans, among others. The only two states not represented were North Dakota and Rhode Island.Seventy percent of them were 61 and older.
There was 3,770 new voter registrations, compared with 1,640 in 2016—the last presidential election. That’s a 130 percent increase, Patrie said.
The traffic count north of Ketchum increased 30 percent during the past year, according to an Idaho Transportation Department traffic counter. That indicates that many of the newer residents are concentrated in the North Valley, Patrie said.In contrast, the traffic count was down 4 percent north of Hailey, and Lincoln County showed a 2 percent reduction in traffic as more people worked from home and stayed home during the shelter-in-place order.
General aviation remained strong despite the cancellation of Allen & Company in July 2020. It was up 14 percent, indicating that a lot of those who moved here during the past year or used Sun valley as a base during pandemic lockdowns elsewhere were affluent.
Real estate is off the charts with 800 new purchases during the past year and the frenzy appears to be sustainable. But it’s becoming harder for low- and middle-income workers to find housing as the inventory of housing below $450,000 has decreased, Patrie said.
The sale of houses costing $3 million and more increased 247 percent; $1-3 million, up 67 percent; $450,000-$1 million, up 40 percent; $275,000 to $450,000, down 3 percent, and $275,000 and under, minus 38 percent.
The number of new homeowner’s exemptions, indicating people are using their new homes as primary residence, was 179. The majority are from Boise or Idaho Falls, followed by former residents of California and Oregon.
There were 29 states represented in the homeowner’s exemption group, which indicates that it’s a geographically diverse group of people coming here.
Vacant land sales are up 112 percent as the inventory for homes has run out.
The short-term rentals occupancy rate was up 37 percent from April 2020 to March 2021. But the number of listings was down 15 percent. That indicates that people who have investment properties or second homes took them off the market as they camped out here themselves.
BUSINESS IS IMPROVING
A lot of businesses, such as outdoor shops, saw business boom during the pandemic year while others struggled. We are starting to see things return to pre-COVID levels, Patrie said.
AIR TRAFFIC RETURNING TO RESORTS
Enplanements were down 68 percent from April to December 2020 with Friedman Memorial Airport all but closed for a couple months. But enplanements were 90 percent of what they were in 2019 from January to March 2021, indicating that recovery is happening.
Nationally, commercial air enplanements are still below 50 percent so resorts are leading the way.
BANNER SEASON FOR SUN VALLEY
Sun Valley Resort had a banner season, thanks to several factors: Not requiring reservations for skiers. The Epic Pass partnership. And being named the No. 1 ski resort in North America by Ski Magazine.
It also had an amiable snowfall cycle and the word got out that Sun Valley had snow, said Scott Fortner, Visit Sun Valley’s director.
Sun Valley took a hit with corporate conventions all but nonexistent. But that’s not bad considering some ski resorts worldwide did not open and many fared far worse than Sun Valley.
Lot collections were up 35 percent November through March versus 2018-19.
Enplanements were down 21 percent during that time but traffic counts were up 52 percent.
Even now, Fortner said, lack of confidence in air travel is pushing people to travel by car. And when you drive 12 to 15 hours you’re probably going to stay longer, he said.
Room nights sold were: Minus 32 percent in November, Minus 20 in December, Minus 11 in January, Minus 7 in February, Minus 5 in March and Minus 21 in April as the area saw more people from Salt Lake City, Boise and Twin Falls.
THE LOOK AHEAD
There’s a lot of pent-up demand after a year of being holed up at home and a lot of air miles need to be redeemed. With entertainment and travel spending drastically reduced, many people are sitting on extra cash they’re ready to spend.
Escaping the city for fresh mountain air at the top of many travelers’ lists. And events, such as the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, are rebounding.
In addition, traveler confidence is up with the reduction in COVID-19 cases and the rise in vaccinations.
Friedman Memorial Airport’s nonstop flight service will kick off the first week of June this year, rather than the third.
Newcomers don’t understand daily norms and some locals are reacting negatively to the idea of sharing their recreational space.
Lack of home inventory and increased rental prices has pinched living opportunities.
There’s a workforce shortage, especially for those in the service industry.
To address these problems, Visit Sun Valley may revisit its campaign about “What We’re Made Of” coupled with its recent “Mindfulness in the Mountain” campaign.
We want Sun Valley to remain welcoming to our tourists and we want our tourists to help keep the place special and appreciate what Sun Valley has to offer, not try to change it to suit the tastes of wherever they came from, whether fast food chains or Uber gridlock, Visit Sun Valley officials said.
“We’re the stewards of our community and we’re the chefs,” added Patrie. “If we understand our ingredients, we can take something that doesn’t look good on its face and turn it into something sweet.”
Sun Valley tourism is rebounding, marketing group says
Report: Some 1,500 people have moved to valley during pandemic
The Sun Valley area is undergoing an unexpected surge in growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, changing life for locals and—to some degree—how Idaho’s premier tourist destination is marketed to potential visitors.
That was the overarching message of a semi-annual meeting conducted by the Visit Sun Valley marketing and business organization livestreamed to viewers Wednesday from The Community Library in Ketchum.
Many people coming to the area are “COVID evacuees,” remote workers, adventurers and people who own second—or third—homes in the area, he said. Amid the pandemic, Visit Sun Valley has had to consider that visitors are booking trips later, staying longer and have been looking for things to do, as many events were canceled, he said. Group visits were down, hotel bookings were down and there have been fewer “traditional” vacations of families flying in for a week-long visit. Instead, more people have been driving to the Wood River Valley from places such as Salt Lake City, Boise and Twin Falls, he said.
“It just hasn’t been the same as it was historically,” Fortner said.
The organization sees a “pent-up demand” for travel, the return of many popular events, increased confidence in the safety of travel, a strong interest in mountain communities and strong commercial air service to the region all as encouraging factors for the tourism sector, Fortner said. In addition, many people are conducting internet searches for Sun Valley, he noted.
As the organization moves into a new phase of its “Mindfulness in the Mountains” marketing campaign, it is encouraging community “stewardship” from visitors—people who are a “better visitor that is enlightened and informed,” the organization’s presentation stated.
In addition, Visit Sun Valley is promoting a wide range of “guided experiences”—including cooking classes, yoga, fly fishing and mountain biking—that educate visitors, get them outdoors and allow them to gain a “deeper sense of what Sun Valley is all about,” said Marketing Director Ray Gadd. Visit Sun Valley is also promoting the return of signature events, including the Sun Valley Music Festival, the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Gadd said.
During the meeting, David Patrie, outreach director for the Sun Valley Economic Development business organization, presented data from an in-depth analysis of the effects of the pandemic and an influx of new residents into the Wood River Valley over the past year.
“Last March, we never would have predicted where we are today,” Patrie said.
New voter registrations in Blaine County increased from 1,640 in 2016 to 3,770 in 2020, Patrie said, with most registrants in the 22-35 age range.
“Yeah, it’s a lot,” he said, “and it feels like a lot.”
“Fractals can be found throughout nature; they are a complex network of patterns and relationships that portray the incremental growth of life. Found in snowflakes, trees, oceans and clouds, it can be used to understand rules and formulas that govern the environment at various scales.
Active fractals can be used as a model for the endlessly morphing network of modern behaviors in cities over time, from local to global scales. By defining the parameters and limits of fractal infrastructures, we can start to change spatial systems while still accommodating for individual variety and temporal growth.” –Sirenia Yookyung Kim
Four our ancestors, a house, a fountain, even clothing, a coat, was much more intimate. Each thing, almost, was a vessel in which what was human found and defined itself.
Now, From America, empty, indifferent things sweep in…pretend things, life-traps…a house, in the American sense, an American apple, a grapevine, bears no relation to the hope and contemplation with which our ancestors informed and behold them.
It is a good time to examine our stability and what keeps us grounded from within instead of from the external world. This is also a very good moon time to work with the earth, to fertilize and empower new growth, ideas, projects and intentions. You can also focus on health, the body, self-esteem, self-expression and inner truth. Who are you?
Take some time today and just allow the earth to hold and support you. If a project or a part of your life feels ungrounded or challenging, ask to be supported in ways you have not allowed before. Call on your spirit guides and allies and give them something specific to help you with. See what happens.
Suddenly, today, I panicked about life inching back toward “normal.” I don’t want to travel endlessly for work. I don’t want my weekends to be over-committed with activities. I don’t want to miss bedtime with my kid. I don’t want to wear blazers — or, hell, even shoes.
-Emily Ramshaw, Co-founder & CEO 19th News.
For many of us the prospect of being is terrifying and so we go on saying, “I’m good” when in fact we are struggling or overwhelmed. This allegiance to the social convention that everything is okay is fatiguing and prevents us from receiving care and building deep connections with others. David Whyte, a Poet, writes, “in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.”
-Ryan Redman, The Flourish Foundation
NEW: ‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states explicitly — in large, bold lettering — that airborne virus can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected individual. “If you’re in a poorly ventilated environment, virus is going to build up in the air, and everyone who’s in that room is going to be exposed.” [Friday, May 7th]
Fears Covid anxiety syndrome could stop people reintegrating
Scientists have expressed concern that residual anxiety over coronavirus may have led some people to develop compulsive hygiene habits that could prevent them from reintegrating into the outside world, even though Covid hospitalisations and deaths in the UK are coming down.
The concept of “Covid anxiety syndrome” was first theorised by professors last year, when Ana Nikčević, of Kingston University, and Marcantonio Spada, at London South Bank University, noticed people were developing a particular set of traits in response to Covid.
The anxiety syndrome is characterised by compulsively checking for symptoms of Covid, avoidance of public places, and obsessive cleaning, a pattern of “maladaptive behaviours” adopted when the pandemic started. Now researchers have raised the alarm that the obsessive worrying and threat avoidance, including being unwilling to take public transport or bleaching your home for hours, will not subside easily, even as Covid is controlled.
“Fear is normal. You and I are supposed to fear the virus because it’s dangerous. The difference, however, in terms of developing a psychopathological response is whether you end up behaving in … overly safe ways that lock you into the fear,” said Spada. “My expectation is we’re going to have … chunks of the population that are avoiding re-engagement and constantly worrying about the virus for months to come, whether they are vaccinated or not.”
Dr Giovanni Mansueto, of the University of Florence, is investigating the syndrome in Italy and says he has seen some evidence of it in his clinical practice. It was important not only to identify the syndrome but to find ways to treat and prevent it, he said, “otherwise, this could be a big problem”.
Even after being fully vaccinated, many still wrestle with a fear of catching Covid
“I don’t want to be sitting in a movie theater with ‘patient zero’ of a variant that bucks the vaccine.”
By Elizabeth Chuck
Since the start of the pandemic, Kit Breshears has been terrified of catching the coronavirus. Getting vaccinated did not magically change that.
For the past 13 months, Breshears, 44, of Buffalo, Minnesota, has not stepped foot inside a store or restaurant, not even to pick up a takeout meal. Any visits with family and friends have been over Zoom.
When he received his second Covid-19 shot earlier this month, he felt relief, he said — but with the pandemic still ongoing, he has found it impossible to turn off his anxiety.
“My fear is that enough people are not going to get vaccinated, or they’re not going to get vaccinated in a timely fashion, and we end up getting a horrible variant that puts us right back to where we are,” Breshears, a communications director at a local university, said. “I don’t want to be sitting in a movie theater with ‘patient zero’ of a variant that bucks the vaccine.”
With more than 93 million people, or more than a quarter of America, fully vaccinated, two camps have emerged: those making up for lost time in the form of house parties, happy hours and travel, and those who cannot shake the fear that they may still get the coronavirus.
Breshears is far from the only one in the latter category. A survey released last month by the American Psychological Association found that 48 percent of adults who have been vaccinated said they felt “uneasy” about returning to in-person interactions once the pandemic is over.
For the time being, some timidness is a good thing, public health experts say.
“We’re still involved in the disease containment phase of the pandemic,” said Tener Goodwin Veenema, a professor and visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Fully vaccinated individuals should feel confident in the protection they have received, she said, but should still wear their masks in public and avoid big groups of unmasked people.
Nonetheless, for healthy, fully vaccinated people, the fear of catching Covid-19 should not be paralyzing, said Vaile Wright, a clinical psychologist and the senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association.
“With previous pandemics, like SARS and Ebola, we have seen agoraphobia,” she said, referring to the anxiety disorder in which people fear certain situations so much that they may not leave their homes. “At the end of the day, if you’re really, really struggling, then it’s time to seek out some professional help.”
“There is going to be this lingering sense of anxiety going forward, because uncertainty still remains.”
“Recognize that the other person might just not be where you’re at yet, and that doesn’t make them wrong,” Wright said.
If you are feeling anxious about doing things that fall within safe CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people, Wright suggests identifying small steps that you can take.
“There are people who haven’t gone to the grocery store in a year. Grocery stores are pretty safe if you’re wearing masks, so maybe that’s step one,” she said. “And then maybe move up to lunch outside with a friend who is also fully vaccinated.”
In 2019, I wrotethis piece about being an extroverted introvert. Back then, I found myself toeing the line when it came to my tendencies and preferred ways to socialize. More than two million people read it, so it seemed as if others could relate.
But two years and one pandemic later, and I’ve found myself more on the introverted side of the fence.
Why it matters: The pandemic has changed all of us in some way, whether we picked up a new hobby, strengthened or lost friendships, or got clarity on our future plans.
These shifts will only become more apparent as the world starts to reopen.
The bright side: The past year has allowed me to adopt a slower-paced lifestyle filled with more intentional connections and commitments. It’s felt like the perfect way to recharge my introvert batteries without getting hit with a case of FOMO at every turn, and I don’t want to immediately jump back into my full-tilt, non-stop schedule.
But, as more of us get vaccinated and normal life is in sight, I’m struggling with mixed feelings.
The state of play: First and foremost, I’m feeling relief on so many levels. That goes without saying.
I’m feeling excited about getting to enjoy my favorite pre-pandemic activities again: meeting friends on the patio at NoDa Company Store, spontaneously popping into Paper Skyscraper between meetings, date nights out with my husband.
Yes, but: Coupled with my relief and excitement comes anxiety.
I feel out of practice when it comes to socializing with people I haven’t seen in a while, particularly in large groups. I’ve gotten used to my small “quarantine pod,” and I’m anxious about how I’ll re-develop those socializing muscles.
I’ve loved not feeling obligated to pack my schedule full until I’m scrambling to play catch-up on Sunday evenings.
There’s also a part of me that wonders if living through a pandemic will leave me permanently focused on health issues. You don’t realize how germy public spaces are until you spend a year obsessing about it, and I wonder if I’ll be able to shut that part of my brain off.
Tips for coping:
If you’re like me and are experiencing a plethora of feelings as we prepare to re-enter the real world, Leah Finch, a licensed clinical mental health counselor and owner of Goldfinch Counseling and Coaching, has some tips:
(1) Know that it’s OK to feel this way: “I think the most helpful thing is an acknowledgment that this is all so normal. It’s not just you. You’re not an anxious person, you’re a person who is experiencing normal and natural worries,” Finch says.
(2) Rely on the coping mechanisms you’ve developed: We’ve all had to find new ways to soothe ourselves during a stressful year, and Finch says it’s important to continue to utilize these strategies as we reacquaint ourselves with our pre-COVID lives.
“That may be taking a few deep breaths or doing some stretches to calm the body and the mind.”
(3) Don’t focus on eliminating anxiety completely: Unfortunately, if your end goal is to make your anxiety totally disappear forever, you’ll only end up frustrated, Finch says. Everyone faces the occasional bout of anxiety. It’s part of being human.
But if this anxiety impedes your ability to enjoy life, Finch recommends asking yourself, “Are these thoughts helping or hurting me?’” This can help you identify detrimental patterns so you can get out of that unproductive thought loop.
(4) Mental health isn’t linear: If you’re a person who normally has your anxiety well-managed, finding yourself facing anxious thought patterns again can be discouraging. You might fear that you’re regressing or that your work has gone to waste.
“Remind yourself that mental health isn’t linear. It’s a journey,” Finch says. “If you’re experiencing symptoms, know that you’re not regressing, you’re just learning how to relate to your anxiety in new ways. You are not your anxiety. It doesn’t have control over you.”
(5) Soak in the moments when you’re feeling good: “The flip side of acknowledging that anxiety is normal is being really mindful of moments where you’re not feeling anxious and allowing yourself to experience that moment. What does your body feel like? What are your sensations?” Finch says.
Cut each other some slack as we head back into the world.
We’ve just been through a collective trauma, and it’s inevitably changed us all in one way or another.
Be patient with yourself and with the people you love as you find your footing and learn how to connect with each other again.
From the intimate perspective of three friends and neighbors in mid-nineteenth century Auburn, New York—the “agitators” of the title—acclaimed author Dorothy Wickenden tells the fascinating and crucially American stories of abolition, the Underground Railroad, the early women’s rights movement, and the Civil War.
Harriet Tubman was one of the most important conductors on the underground railroad and hid the enslaved men, women and children she rescued in the basement kitchens of Martha Wright, Quaker mother of seven, and Frances Seward, wife of Governor, then Senator, then Secretary of State William H. Seward.
Many of the most prominent figures in the history books—Lincoln, Seward, Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner, John Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison—are seen through the eyes of the protagonists. So are the most explosive political debates: about women’s roles and rights during the abolition crusade, emancipation, and the arming of Black troops; and about the true meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Beginning two decades before the Civil War, when Harriet Tubman was still enslaved and Martha and Frances were young women bound by law and tradition, The Agitators ends two decades after the war, in a radically changed United States. Wickenden brings this period of our history to life through the richly detailed letters her characters wrote several times a week. Like Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and David McCullough’s John Adams, Wickenden’s The Agitators is revelatory, riveting, and profoundly relevant to our own time. [Amazon]
The New Yorker Radio Hour
“The Agitators” is a book about three women—three revolutionaries—who changed the world at a time when women weren’t supposed to be in public life at all. Frances Seward was a committed abolitionist who settled with her husband in the small town of Auburn, in western New York. One of their neighbors was a Quaker named Martha Coffin Wright, who helped organize the first convention for women’s rights, at Seneca Falls. Both women harbored fugitives when it was a violation of federal law. And, after they met Harriet Tubman, through the Underground Railroad, Tubman also settled in Auburn. “The Agitators,” by The New Yorker’s executive editor, Dorothy Wickenden, tells their interlocking stories. “These people were outsiders, and they were revolutionaries,” Wickenden tells David Remnick. “They were only two generations separated from the Declaration of Independence, which they believed in literally. They did not understand why women and Black Americans could not have exactly the same rights that had been promised.”
‘You can easily guess that in using the term “innocent bystander” I had to examine my conscience to see whether I was being facetious. I do not remember if I smiled when I first thought of it; but, in any case, I am no longer smiling. For I do nothing the question of our innocence can be a matter for jesting, and I am no longer certain that it is honorable to stand by as the helpless witness to a cataclysm, with no other hope than to die innocently and by accident, as a nonparticipant.’