While reflecting on this question I could, initially, not think of a way to answer it. However, I soon came to realize that the pandemic had given me a gift, the gift of time. Time to read more, time to interact with friends even though it was remotely, time to organize my home. But most of all it gave me time to get to know a new person in my life, my Airbnb guest from Germany and, inadvertently, to coalesce my own feeling about living in this country during the first part of 2020. Marc arrived shortly before quarantine began and, being in the apartment directly attached to my home, and unable to go to his internship site or anywhere else, for that matter, for many weeks, we quickly began to rely on each other for company and conversation. We had “tea” most every afternoon at three outside on our adjoining deck and during those times I was privy to an entirely different perspective on what was happening in this country. I had to explain racism, Black Lives Matter, the current administration’s many foibles, and numerous other aspects of American life that were new and baffling to him. In doing so, I was challenged to articulate many thoughts and feelings that I had rarely discussed. Furthermore, these discussions helped me to understand his very European point of view of the world and to realize that this, undoubtedly, was really my point of view too! So, thank you quarantine, for giving me the opportunity to understand myself a bit more and for the chance to make a new friend!

Frank

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