We are now 15 months into the COVID-19 global pandemic, and if you’re anything like me you’re equally obsessed with case numbers, local statistics and vaccination percentages and emotionally exhausted with the topic.

COVID has taken so much from each of us. If you’re lucky it has taken away celebrating holidays and milestones with family and friends, travel opportunities, social isolation, and the opportunity to create new memories. For those not so lucky, it has meant economic strife, mental health concerns, burnout, daily stress and, of course, health issues and loss of loved ones.

COVID has also given us a chance to slow down; to re-evaluate what’s important and how we want to spend our time, money, and life. It has connected us in new and different ways and given us clarity on what (and who) means the most to us. It is my hope that, when this is over, we all have a clearer perspective on our priorities and, most importantly, won’t wait to live our best lives because we don’t know when the world could come to a screeching halt again.

It’s time to truly live in the moment, and not put our dreams and desires on hold. We are almost there, and when we arrive, we shouldn’t strive to “return to normal” but instead find ways to create a bigger and better normal for ourselves and our loved ones.

The end is in sight with dropping cases, higher vaccination rates, and more knowledge to apply to COVID every day. It has been a very difficult year-and-a-half for our businesses and organizations, so please continue to support local whenever you can. As always, I am so grateful for our contributors, advertisers, and readers who continue to support this publication as well.

Enjoy the summer safely and soon we’ll embark on the better road ahead.

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