It is an understatement to say that life stopped being normal in mid-March. The effects of the pandemic have been overwhelming to parents homeschooling their children, the unemployed or furloughed, teens isolated from their peers, our vulnerable elderly, essential workers, and medical providers.

In the midst of it all, we are witnessing a call to transform social injustices, race and health disparities, and examine what has remained beneath the surface for centuries.

What next? Will a vaccine or treatment return us to a pre-COVID existence? Or will we apply what we have learned and do better? Will we value our relationships more? essential workers more? teachers more? medical providers and researchers more? Will we understand that better health for underserved means better health for us all? Will we realize that, regardless of our exterior, we are all the same inside?

Our cover model, Dr. Lavonne Ansari calls for universal humanity, reminding us we are not alone, but part of a global family — fighting the same fight and bearing witness to a historic moment we will never forget. Repeating the words recited by poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, Dr. Ansari says this is not a time to despair because, “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be a better tomorrow.”

Encouraging efforts are underway to find a vaccine or cure, and people worldwide of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds are gathering to promote positive change. So, get out and enjoy July’s beautiful weather, but remember to wear a mask because it shows you care about others and saves lives.