The true mark of leadership now is understanding how important it is to use every ounce of power and privilege we have to change things.
The U.S. officially has a new president and vice-president, with President Biden and Vice President Harris being sworn in as the United States reached the grimmest of milestones: 400,000 dead from COVID-19. The lives lost were honored in a lighting ceremony led by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris the night before the inauguration. Across the country, public buildings were illuminated to memorialize the profound loss.
A new administration brings hope that the US can finally turn the corner on a pandemic, yet our hope remains tempered by reality: The challenge of widespread vaccinations, the emergence of new coronavirus variants, and a population weary after months of chaos.
Dose of hope
After the departure of President Trump, whose handling of the pandemic crisis was viewed by many experts as a failure, President Biden has pledged to take an orderly, scientific approach.
To that point:
Within hours of the first presidential debate, Americans began searching "how to apply for Canadian citizenship" and "how to move to New Zealand" - taking them from a previous "zero" ranking to 100, the highest score attributable by Google Trends.
India announced that it will begin exporting COVID-19 vaccines to six countries, including Nepal and Bangledesh. The World Health Organization had been concerned that poorer countries would be waiting longer for vaccines.
Even amid a pandemic, some things never change. One might make the argument that corporate TikTok is a form of therapy. Judge for yourself.
News you need to know
Scientists in California warn of a new coronavirus variant.
Getting a vaccine can be a confounding process.
Local public health officials say they’re running out of vaccines.
Moderna is investigating possible vaccine allergic reactions.
Quote of the day
“there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
– Amanda Gorman