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Just when we thought that we could finally exhale in relief, believing that the coronavirus pandemic was over, new variants have emerged that are forcing us to put our masks back on, to isolate ourselves when infected and in some cases, to be placed in hospitals for treatment.

At the same time, a new virus, the Monkeypox variant, has begun to spread across the U.S., causing further fear among Americans with only limited supplies of medicine available. 

Meanwhile, prices for just about everything we need have gone through the roof. Lines at non-profits and churches can now be seen wrapping around corners as families wait for groceries to help them with the bottom line and to feed their loved ones. 

But most alarming, as schools prepare to open their doors this fall, hopefully without being forced to revert to virtual learning, are the huge numbers of shootings that have recently plagued the District and surrounding areas. 

It is indeed a very challenging time for all of us. And while some may feel like throwing their hands in the air and giving up, we know that is not the answer. In days past, communities would come together and provide assistance, sharing meals, watching one another’s children, helping seniors and keeping their communities safe. We must join forces in these difficult times and remember as one poet said, “No man (woman) is an island.” 

Our parents and grandparents often reminded us that “trouble don’t last always.” And while that is true, it’s equally true that as we move out of the storm, it’s still very difficult. But we remain optimistic. 

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