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I have tried for nearly two weeks to sit down and write. I have tried to record my thoughts and feelings, so you might understand what it’s like to be a college student right now.

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Writing a column during a pandemic is an exercise in doing what’s not important. So much in my life these days pales in comparison to what’s going on in my town, my state, my country and my world. People are truly suffering.

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Three months ago, the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic was not yet a part of the public consciousness. Cases in China, apparently the point of origin, are declining, but the incidence of new infections in the U.S. is rapidly accelerating.

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How the world has changed in such a short time! All of us are adjusting our lives, taking on new tasks and doing our jobs in new and unexpected ways. I’ve never been on so many remote online meetings in my life.

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We are living through an unprecedented time. Vermont is just beginning to feel the effects of the pandemic and its overwhelming economic impacts. Fear and uncertainty are rippling throughout our state as small businesses are suddenly grappling with this new reality with which they are faced.

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The world is in a turn-around. Last week I was in a grocery store hoarding hard cheese and red wine. I stopped on the way out to grab a cup of coffee. There was a homeless guy ahead of me getting a cup. “Sorry, man,” he said in a graveled voice. “They’ll cut this off next, you know,” he said…

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As Vermonters know, the COVID-19 situation is causing turmoil and concern in all aspects of our lives as we take dramatic steps individually, in our communities and through our government to minimize the danger and possible harm, both in terms of health and the economic impacts.

We do our best to get every opinion in the paper. The wider the variety of ideas, the better readers are served. Letters should be no more than 400 words and should be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Monday before publication. Email letters to news@newsandcitizen.com. Please include your name, address and contact email or phone so we can verify that you wrote the letter. We keep contacts confidential. See our Thank-You Letter Policy. Questions? Call 802-888-2212.

Thank-You Letter Policy

The letters section is a forum for readers to respond — good, bad and ugly — to what they read in our newspapers. Thank-you notes from community organizations and nonprofits, to give credit to the businesses and individuals who have donated time, money and expertise, will be printed on our websites, free of charge, at the discretion of the editor as they arrive. If you wish to print your thank-you letter in one or more of our papers, our sales team is here to help. Call 802-253-2101 (Stowe Reporter), 802-888-2212 (News & Citizen) or email sales@stowereporter.com.