Earlier this fall, in lieu of traveling over the holidays, my family all got tested for COVID-19 and then reunited for a four-day blitz of a year’s worth of celebrations: We blew out candles on birthday cakes, watched an old Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on YouTube, grilled a turkey, toasted to my parents’ thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and did puzzles in matching pajamas after we opened Christmas stockings. Not our usual holiday routine, but in a year when so many will be mourning lost family members, we felt lucky to be with each other.
The U.S. is an especially slow learner, but among the many things 2020 has taught us: Our habits and traditions must change, especially as we roll into winter holidays with record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations. But as you can read in the stories below, changing up time honored patterns — including the rituals we use to bury our dead, how political candidates engage with religious voters, or our tendency to doomscroll — has its benefits (beyond, of course, reducing the spread of a deadly disease).
1. First U.S. Memorial to Sexual Assault Survivors Brings Healing Out of Shadows
“Community plays a unique role in healing from trauma, and when it comes to sexual violence, community has a mandate to participate.” By Katie Koranda via sojo.net.
2. ‘No One Is Listening to Us’
More people than ever are hospitalized with COVID-19. Healthcare workers can’t go on like this. By Ed Young via The Atlantic.
3. For This Vulnerable Nation, Lord, Hear Our Prayer
We all need some grounding for the days ahead. By Jim Wallis and Adam Russell Taylor via sojo.net.
4. How Jews and Muslims are Burying Their Coronavirus Dead
“While Frank and her fellow volunteers visualize washing and drying the body, D'Alessandro walks with them through the ritual step-by-step.” By Daniel Burke via CNN.
5. How Joe Biden Won a Diverse Group of Faith Voters
Before winning the election, Biden touted endorsements from more than 1,600 faith leaders, the largest number for a Democratic candidate in modern history. By Mitchell Atencio via sojo.net.
6. ‘Other Countries Have Social Safety Nets. The U.S. Has Women’
“Because of intensive work pressures and intensive parenting pressures, and because of a lack of adequate support from the government, their employers, or their partners, mothers who are working from home without childcare feel like failures — as both workers and mothers.” By Anne Helen Petersen via Culture Study.
7. A Word for All the President’s Enablers
When Republicans talk about having the “right” to pursue legal challenges, they are technically correct and morally shameless. By Wesley Granberg-Michaelson via sojo.net.
8. Get Off Social Media and Stop Doomscrolling
Journalist Karen K. Ho believes limiting your internet time could make you more hopeful and optimistic. By Norman Wilner via NOW Magazine.
9. No Unity Without Justice: Sermons from the Sunday After the Election
What is the role of a pastor after a bitter election? By Jenna Barnett via sojo.net.
10. Everything About Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy Movie Is Awful
It lacks even the conviction of the bestselling 2016 book on which it’s based. By Alissa Wilkinson via Vox.