By Rachel Parodneck, LMSW
After an incredibly long and drawn-out election, the announcement has been made that the president-elect is Joe Biden! Although Refresh does not take a political stance, it would be opaque and blithe not to mention the great joy bursting from NYC, around the country, and around the globe since the results of the election were announced.
At 11:30 am on Saturday morning, just as I was beginning a therapy session, I heard screams and cheering coming from the streets. My heart leaped out of my chest when I heard pots and pans clanging, people celebrating, and an eruption of positivity. I knew even before checking the news that Biden had won. I was so thrilled and relieved that I could barely contain my enthusiasm during the session. The air immediately felt lighter and I now see people walking with a greater sense of purpose.
There are wonderful photos and videos of people dancing in the streets, popping champagne bottles and hugging loved ones. A peaceful, happy energy has enveloped NYC, as it seems an enormous weight has been lifted from our collective shoulders.
I had tried desperately not to get my hopes up. I, like many, could not have handled another four years of this presidency. This great win for democracy is a desperately needed breath of fresh air after the unthinkable and catastrophic last 4 years we have had.
I remember the atmosphere in NYC after the 2016 election: a somber, bitter and hopelessness such that I had never seen. This time around though, it feels just as exhilarating as in 2008 when Obama won the election; perhaps more of a relief than anything else.
However, what we cannot forget is that this election was a close one. Just under half of the people in the United States voted to keep the status quo of fear mongering and hatred that spews from the current administration. This shows there is much work to be done. Although this is a win today for many, it is not a win for all. And until more people come together in unity, we must continue to pursue activism and advocacy work with the same energy and gusto we fought with to get to where we are today.