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Editor’s Notes

When I watch Aladdin (one of my favorite Disney animations along with The Lion King), the most entertaining character for me is the Genie: compassionate, cheerful and, of course, funny — but he was trapped, like many of us are feeling during the pandemic.

“I’m free! … I’m free at last!” screamed the Genie when Aladdin granted him his wish and set him free.

That’s how many of us will feel once COVID is over — when we’re free to walk without masks, to socialize closely, to go out, to travel without restrictions. Even things we take for granted, like attending school or going to work, will become a normal part of our lives once again. But “normal” is taking on a new meaning.

In this issue, we are looking at life post-COVID — what to expect, look forward to and be aware of. Things won’t go back to what they used to be with the snap of a finger. Many changes have taken place, and some of these changes are here to stay, whether in work, education, social interactions, travel, shopping, entertainment, leadership and even physical space – life in general. There are things we’ve learned to be thankful for and not take for granted, and things we are eager to do. And we can all reflect on 2020 as the year of … (find out here).

It’s time to look beyond COVID — what comes next? What will change for us —and inside us? What was successful and should be capitalized on, and what wasn’t? How do we create our new normal while retaining life as we know it? We hope this issue will help answer some of these questions.

As we’re slowly getting our lives back, COVID will be a thing of the past. There is no doubt this pandemic will end one day, and we’ll look back at the lockdown, quarantine, mask-wearing and social distancing and think, “Wow, that was when our world turned upside down.” But through it all, we have learned to appreciate the little things, adapt to whatever changes come our way, embrace life with all its ups and downs, and prioritize our health and well-being.

We don’t have a magic lamp like Aladdin’s Genie to end COVID forever, but we do have each other. COVID is a lesson for and in humanity, and we will continue to live and learn.

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