Thanks for the reminder, Google Calendar. Also, 7 other things worth your time.

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Today is Election Day. More than half of Americans say they expect today will be among the most stressful days in their entire lives, according to a new study.

This isn’t a scientific, double-blind, peer-reviewed study, so don’t quote it. But, I have to say, it feels about right.

I don’t have a lot to add that hasn’t already been said many other places about the election. It’s important. If you haven’t voted, and you’re among my American readers, I hope you’ll find the opportunity to do so today.

Even if you’re not in a swing state, there are other races on the ballot—and while the popular vote for president doesn’t have any legal effect, it’s still an opportunity to have your voice counted.

I’ll keep the rest of this quite short. Since Topic A is the election and Topic B is stress, I’ll focus on Topic B.

I’ve done several interviews recently for an upcoming series about people who relocated during the pandemic. It won’t surprise you to hear that the focus is on those who moved from cities to more rural or vacation areas.

What did surprise me a bit however, is the number of times I’ve heard some of these people use the same striking word as they described their new daily routines that makes the decision to move worthwhile.

The word is “awe,” as in, building walks or other encounters with nature into their days, so that they’re confronted with “awe.”

There’s science that says this makes sense. Two of my colleagues on wrote about this recently — here and here.

Anyway, I feel like my general anxieties probably come through in most of my writing here. If you read this every day, you probably have a sense of where I’m coming from.

So, that’s part of my stress-management plan for today: find some time to find a bit of awe. And pick everything up again, tomorrow.

As of about 10:30 p.m. Monday, 98,708,297 Americans had already cast their ballots. I’ve been watching Texas, which hit 108.3% of its 2016 total ahead of Election Day, but I hadn’t noticed the leader: Hawaii, which is at 110.6%. Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia are also all over 93%.

7 other things worth your time

  • A top Trump adviser, Dr. Deborah Birx, bluntly contradicted the president on the current state of the Covid-19 threat, urging an all-out response. Separately, Trump told a rally crowd (one of about a dozen rallies in the last few days) that he plans to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after the election. (The Washington Post, Minnesota Public Radio)

  • Burger King in the UK has a really surprising and nice advertisement, encouraging people to eat at McDonald’s (along with Burger King itself). (

  • I think there’s a metaphor here: a Dutch light rail train crashed off a track, but was suspended in the air at top of a giant sculpture of a whale. (AP)

  • Courts in Texas and Nevada refuted attempts to throw out thousands of votes on technicalities; President Trump promised to send lawyers into Pennsylvania to try to stop counting absentee ballots after Election Day. (WSJ, Philadelphia CBS Local)

  • “You are no longer my mother.” In interviews with 10 voters, five Trump supporters and five backing Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Reuters found that few thought their wrecked personal relationships caused by politics over the last few years could ever be repaired. (Reuters)

  • Months ago, it turns out, Prince William had Covid-19 and “struggled to breathe,” but the whole thing was kept silent because he said he “didn’t want to worry anyone.” (The Daily Beast)

  • Edward Snowden says he will apply for Russian citizenship. (The Washington Post)

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