Like you, SCA continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19. As U.S. cases total more than 2.5 million and the number of lives taken nears 130,000, the toll grows ever more tragic.

One must not be infected to be affected, of course. Our nation’s economy is reeling and millions have lost their jobs. SCA is among many calling for approval of the Great American Outdoors Act, which has the potential to put thousands of young people to work on public lands by addressing long-deferred maintenance of our parks and habitats, as well as the CORPS Act, which will significantly expand national service opportunities and speed COVID recovery.

The advent of the virus last spring curtailed many SCA programs and required others to transition to teleservice. Presently, with cases escalating in many states, we have paused volunteer placements in certain geographic regions to protect our members and staff. We will remain vigilant and adaptable for as long as necessary.

Six months after the COVID-19 outbreak began, we are now told the virus is mutating, much as the “facts” about this disease have changed over time. Early on, face coverings were thought unnecessary. Today they are recommended as a vital defense. Young people were once believed more resilient against Covid-19 yet currently diagnoses are increasing in this demographic and some are considered complicit in the virus’ resurgence.

After a prolonged period of stay-at-home orders, online classes, and Zoom chats, the urge to reconnect with peers as the weather grows more welcoming is entirely understandable. But this is a crucial moment in our history, one in which all of us, regardless of age, must focus on our shared future.

SCA knows that young people possess an acute ability to peer over the horizon and see beyond what’s now to what’s next. We know they are selfless and inclined to sacrifice for the greater good. And we know they will respond appropriately in the face of this urgent public health challenge.

These are the same individuals who as recently as last fall were lauded for leading climate strikes to press for global environmental reforms. That is just the type of commitment, care, and example our world needs now.

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