Janina Marcenaro, Durham, North Carolina

Hello everyone,

I consider myself a glass half full kind of person, but lately, I am disappointed at seeing how greed and misinformation rule the world. I imagine the pain of all those who are struggling to pay rent, gas, utility and healthcare bills, or the expense of raising a child… it is no surprise that people snap, at seeing their impotence of influencing lawmakers, or even the big corporations that just keep getting richer, on the backs of exploited laborers. They turn to websites that sell them the illusion of gaining control through violence, worsened if they already have a fragile psyche, and this is just in the richest country on Earth!

My imagination fails me when it comes to understanding the despair of those who are losing their homes, livelihood or countries because of war, or climate change.

Yet, I keep hoping that brilliant, generous minds will help us find solutions to improve living conditions for everyone and create a safer world. In fact, someone just told me about Mark Cuban’s Cost-Plus pharmacy, which offers several lifesaving medications at significantly reduced prices. That’s a start, given that we have a Congress that is beholden to big Pharma, who refuse to do anything to help people in this country with the rising costs of healthcare. I have not confirmed the use of Cost-Plus, but hope it is a genuine endeavor.

We shall see what the elections bring at the end of this year, I am always praying for improvement.

Judith Hardaker, Desert Hot Springs, California

Chuck and I are doing ok. Medical issues, not uncommon for those our age, help bring into focus what is really important and give us courage to forge ahead ourselves. Everyone draws their own lines in terms of Covid safety. We are no longer willing to give up the chance to have new adventures. We are fully vaccinated and boosted and wear masks everywhere. But we go to restaurants and movie theaters. I have flown to Boston a number of times and we will both be going in October for our youngest grandchild’s bar mitzvah. We want to “live” while we are living.

I feel like we are all living through a contracted case of PTSD. First Covid, then politics and finally climate change. In my darkest moments I don’t think any of it’s going to end well. I fear for the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren. But feeling connected this way helps lift the dark for a little while.

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