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Losing Barry

I wrote a lot in the past couple of months about Sgt. Barry Henderson of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. His ongoing battle with COVID-19 and the subsequent complications, along with those who were offering to help via fundraisers was well covered on this site.

So it pained me Tuesday morning as I woke and was about to prepare the newsletter that I was informed of the Sergeant’s passing, I felt the blow and it took the words from me. Poof! Gone. Try again another day, Kevin.

Tragedy has thus far ruled the headlines in 2021 locally. A fact I wish were untrue and under my control. Even though I feel the grim reality of the past couple of months acutely, I understand that this is not forever. This time of mourning across our community will be remembered, of course. Yet spring returns just as hope and celebration of life persists. 

We look back upon those we have lost in our time fondly, but we also must keep our focus too on what’s to come. None of those we have loved would want us to linger in depression or guilt. They would want us to continue ahead and appreciate the gifts life bestows us and find comfort in their memory when times are tough.

Let us not deceive ourselves either, we must also come together in this tragic time and make this moment in history worthy of those dearly departed too early in their time with us.

Whether it be a question of seeking better outcomes with those struggling with mental health issues or understanding how global decisions impact all of our combined physical well being, we must look at ourselves in the mirror and begin to make hard choices before it is too late.

Reach out to those you love and ask them “are you ok?” and really listen. We all need to take better care of each other right now. Your ear might save a life.

I wish I could have done more, Barry. I’ll keep trying.

– Kevin the Editor

Today’s forecast

Sunshine with some clouds, high of 73 for midweek. Holy moly, more of the same heading into the weekend, with a high of 80 on Friday, and upper 70s for the weekend. (Hey, no blizzard on my birthday this year. That’s a win!) Temps are down to 45 overnight tonight, but will be in the 50s for the nights to come. 

Polk.Today readers! Did you know that without your support, you get local news for free and I don’t get to eat or pay bills? That’s… a problem. Show that you don’t mind paying a little bit of news through a contribution to Polk.Today via PayPal to get a heck of a lot more in return. And did you know that for $5 a month – or maybe just as much as you feel like you can spare – a group of 1,000 people could keep everyone informed all the time? Consider helping out to keep Polktoday.com and forthcoming products from having to be subscriber-based. But hey, good news: with two people down, there’s only 994 to go!

Something to Watch this Morning

Want to know what’s happening in the world in a way that makes sense? You better check out one of my favorite authors, George Friedman, on a bi-weekly podcast he’s doing called “Talking Geopolitics.” They had a previous podcast up until last year, relaunched it this year. Good so far. Learn something interesting. 

(Technically it is a YouTube video, but it is audio-only.)

Something to Read this Morning

Keeping the links on the short side because I have a thing to do at 10 a.m., and it’s already passed time for me to get ready to get out of the house. 

From NY Times: Biden got vaccine distribution working right, but only with Trump’s Help. (Nicest Trump headline that publication has written in ages.)

Wired.com put together this item on face masks their staff likes to wear.

USA Today: Who gets a check, who doesn’t?

AJC: Stacey Abrams wants corporate America to be involved in the conversation about voting. (Probably not a great idea. Corporations are already legally considered a person. Do we want execs getting their companies a separate vote too? Taco Bell votes for… )

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