I'm currently sitting in a vacation rental on Manasota Key, about an hour and a half drive south of Tampa Bay. The sun is shining hot and bright on the brilliant greens of a variety of tropical plants just outside the large living room window. It is tranquil. I should take a moment to acknowledge my privilege, that my family and I are able to enjoy this place while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread unabated, and our entire democracy seems to be waffling at the crossroad with authoritarianism.

It is a period of anxiety and uncertainty, made worse by an undercurrent of something maybe akin to survivors guilt. What is the right thing to do?

It is right to take time for our own mental wellbeing, to temporarily divorce ourselves from the worries created by events outside of our control. That is not escapism, but rather admitting – even finding comfort in – the limits of our own influence in the world.

It is perhaps a sisyphean task to fight for an fair and just society, given the perhaps genetic disposition humans have toward tribalism and conflict, but perhaps even Sisyphus found time to admire the view as he toiled up the mountain.