Everything is complicated right now. I don’t need to tell you about the world at large (how bad is Omicron? What on earth will happen with voting rights and the midterms? Etc.). But the world at large has so thoroughly invaded our lives that our most intimate choices are now shaped by those big-picture questions too. “The personal is political” was the women’s movement’s rallying cry at one point, and now the political is personal.
I’m in the Midwest right now; I came here to (cautiously) be with (a small part of) my extended family, and I’m having a version of the experience that I’m sure a lot of you are having, wherever in the country or the world you may be.
My loved ones are all over the map, geographically but also in terms of both politics and pandemic: They are proud liberal democrats, fiery socialists, Trump voters, and folks who really would prefer not to think about any of this stuff. They come from different racial, economic, religious, and national backgrounds; they include veterans and conscientious objectors, nurses and tradespeople and tech workers.