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While these times are disparagingly difficult, columnist Sam Clement encourages you to live in hope and prosperity despite all the negatives. 

As we reach the end of the school year, I want to take a moment to congratulate you all on making it through this difficult and unpredictable semester. None of us could have anticipated in January that COVID-19 would reach this point, almost unchecked.

We live in uncertain times, and the aspect of them that is least certain of all is when they will end. There is a reasonable chance that campus will not reopen in the fall, and we must be prepared to face that reality if it comes to pass.

It has been hard to cope with the events of the past few months. I know. Many of us have been trapped in our own homes, living with a terrible mixture of boredom and dread. Others have had to face the more terrifying ordeal of continuing to go to their jobs, continuing to work so that the country can continue to function.

If you fall into that second category — if you’re a doctor, grocery store clerk, warehouse worker, emergency responder, janitor or anyone else whose jobs have been deemed essential — thank you. Thank you for your bravery and your service.

Thank you for helping to keep the country running. I hope that when this is all over, people will recognize your importance and treat you with the respect that many of you have been denied for so long.

These are difficult times. They aren’t going to get easier anytime soon, not until we have a reliable treatment or at least a good system of testing for COVID-19. I hope that will happen soon, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

So until that happens, or until you hear from me again, please — live in hope. Treat essential workers with the respect they deserve. Listen to science. Be wary of people making claims that are too good to be true. And, above and beyond all else, stay safe.

Have a great summer. I hope I’ll be able to see you all again when fall arrives.

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