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Letter: Society’s ills affect us, whether we realize it or not

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Wildfires in the western United States have filled the Salt Lake Valley with smoke, causing the sun to glow orange as it rises over the Wasatch Mountains on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Like many Americans today, I live in two worlds. Day to day, I have a good life. I have not gotten COVID-19, nor has anyone I love. I am retired and have no kids unexpectedly at home. I hike in the beautiful Wasatch and camp in secluded nature as often as possible. I have a lovely backyard for socially distant gatherings. I have a husband and a loving family living nearby.

In this world, I can sometimes forget the parallel reality closing in on all sides. I reach for a rock climbing hold, and I don’t see the flames decimating the West. I read to my grandson, and the summer’s hurricanes, floods, droughts and searing heat are pushed aside. I reach a lofty peak and forget that thousands of racial injustices took place during my hike. I forget about soaring COVID-19 infections, the windstorm that felled the best of our urban canopy, and the terrifying threats to our nation’s democracy. I forget that hate now drives my countrymen’s passions.

But not for long. Pressure builds with each new atrocity, and a constant headache sends me to a neurologist. She can block the headache, she says, but she can’t find the cause.

Can you?

Marjorie McCloy

Salt Lake City