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Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

It was the news I’d been fearing since early 2020: I had tested positive for the coronavirus. Luckily, I live in a neighborhood with access to free, quick testing, and a supportive network of vaccinated friends and loved ones who replied to my panicked texts with “Are you okay?” Not only did I come away from this frightening experience with a huge appreciation of the vaccine (Moderna for the win), it also occurred to me that our society has gotten incredibly complacent about keeping our community healthy and safe.

I imagine a future in the United States where staying home from work because you feel ill is totally reasonable (and supported by your employer), and wearing a mask to keep others healthy is the norm and doesn’t mark you as a member of a particular political party. Vaccines work, but we have to help, too: I wasn’t pleased to go back into quarantine for 10 days, but the idea I might be getting someone ill was a much worse reality.

Editor’s Note on gender and identity coverage

We are excited to announce a new gender and identity page on washingtonpost.com

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