Goblins, ghouls and evil witches can't hold a candle to the terrors of this election season. It often seems, as I scour the webpages of the nation's biggest newspapers, that there are no treats to be had in American this fall, only tricks. Rumors of election interference and pending violence battle with headlines about the record-breaking number of cases of COVID-19 (99,000+ yesterday) for supremacy. What do we hold onto when the masks don't come off and the full moon can't provide enough light?
I find hope in the stories of grad students who spent hundreds of dollars on a last-minute flight home to vote (Wash Post). Their absentee ballots didn't come in time, so they took matters into their own hands and flew home to stand in line and vote in person. Americans are on track to break 150 million votes cast in the election for the first time, and people are voting as if their lives depend on it (which they do). Our engagement gives me reason to hope.
Brave medical professionals standing up for science also give me hope, from the epidemiologists like Fauci and Birx who will not be silenced to the brave doctors and nurses who are gearing up for battle in the nation's hospitals. Unlike Trump, who believes that medical workers are inflating COVID death tolls for profit (CNN 10/31/2020) we can rationally see that these men and women are taking on high levels of personal risk to their physical and mental health in order to save all of us, from the careful to the careless.
I will put a table at the end of my driveway this evening, fill it with candy and pumpkins for the little ones who walk by, and cheer them on from six feet away. I will be simultaneously cheering on the brave Americans who give me hope in this season of terrors and praying for their success on November third and throughout the rest of the perpetual Halloween that is 2020.