Happy winter to you, readers, in what must surely be the strangest, and for some, the darkest holiday season we have ever experienced. It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since those first scattered reports about a new virus loose in the world. Here in California, we’ve been locked down with a curfew since early November. Somehow, it is easier to bear in this cooler season when the siren call of the outdoors is more muted. Confinement is easier, also, knowing that vaccines are coming, that there is an end date. So far, I’ve been holding loneliness and cabin fever at bay by scheduling regular Zoom meetings, taking socially distanced walks with friends, and doing online community events like the nationwide collective reading of War and Peace (#tolstoytogether), sponsored by A Public Space.

All of that works, some of the…

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