We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,

For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.

In this chaos, we will discover clarity.

In suffering, we must find solidarity.


For it's our grief that gives us our gratitude,

Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn't endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.


Those verses are from "The Miracle of Morning," a poem by Amanda Gorman. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the pandemic lockdowns in the United States, and I wanted to use this week's newsletter to reflect on everything we have been through in the past year.

As a country, we have lost so many loved ones, and grieving is even harder when it must be done alone or from a distance. If you have lost family members and friends during the pandemic, I extend my sympathy.

COVID-19 brought unfathomable challenges, but on even the darkest days, there were spots of light. Communities pulled together to pay tribute to healthcare workers and other essential workers, protect neighbors whose health put them at greater risk of infection, and support struggling small businesses. We have all made sacrifices to keep ourselves and each other safe, and by doing so, we have strengthened our bonds. I am grateful for everything we have accomplished together.

I am also grateful to the scientists who have developed and tested the vaccines. More people are being vaccinated every day, which not only protects them as individuals, but will help limit the virus' ability to spread. The science, along with our patience and resilience, will get us through this.

As spring approaches, I am looking forward to post-pandemic life. Every day, and every vaccination, brings us a little bit closer to that reality.

Stay safe and healthy.