Editor’s Note: This is a preview of USA TODAY’s newsletter Staying Apart, Together, a guide to help us all cope with a world changed by coronavirus. If you would like it in your inbox on Tuesdays and Saturdays, subscribe here.
Happy leaf peeping and sweater weather. Today is the autumnal equinox, also known as the first day of fall. We’re officially through lockdown spring and cautiously reopened summer. The fall will likely be defined by how school reopening goes – in person and online – and how we as a country handle the upcoming holidays.
Back in March, I thought all of this would be over by now, as many of you probably did. My niece or nephew is due in a few weeks, and I anticipated getting on a plane to go see the bundle of joy. I thought Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas would be normal.
The roller coaster of the pandemic forces us to constantly shift expectations and contend with new disappointments. But we can also find new ways to cope. I am thinking of you all as you talk with your own family about plans for the holidays in October, November and December. It’s going to be hard, but we’re going to get through it.
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Today’s civic responsibility
Want to register to vote? Today’s a good day to do it.
You’ll probably be seeing a lot of people online advocating voter registration today, because it’s National Voter Registration Day. The drive was created in 2012 and dedicated to “create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities” for thousands of Americans, with the help of an online campaign and volunteers who hit the streets (as much as one can in a pandemic) in a coordinated event, according to the National Voter Registration Day site. The day is a massive effort to register voters before the upcoming elections in the fall.
So I’ll probably be the 1,000th person in your life saying hey, maybe it’s a good time to register to vote! USA TODAY has a cool resource to find out if you’re registered, if you are unsure of your status. You can check on that here.
Here are some more resources and stories all about voting. Can’t wait to see all your “I voted” stickers!
Today’s vacation at home tip
I loved this idea from one of our readers, David Mugglebee in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the heat wave in California, he and his 9-year-old daughter decided to embrace the warmth and pretended they were in Spain.
“We made a paella together, feasted for lunch, took a siesta til about 7pm. Enjoyed some downtime, a late dinner, then we got dressed up and “went dancing.” Madonna’s “Vogue” was our first song. We eventually made it to a Flamenco “club” (playlist) on Spotify, danced up a storm, then pretended we had tickets to Jim Gaffigan’s late show in Barcelona (on Prime Video). Good food, gorgeous music, great company!”
This is the sweetest thing, I might be tearing up a little.
This is Teddy, a dog who doesn’t play by the rules.
“He’s lounging in the living room on a chair that is off limits,” says his human Loretta Kane. “He usually spends the day with me in our home office. But on this day, he opted for a change of scenery.”
Bold move, Teddy. But a chair that comfy looks like it’s worth it.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID Coping: Happy first day of fall, such as it is