A Message from the OA Board – June 2021

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What We Need is a Good Parade

    Hello parade fans. Welcome to what we hope is the “beginning of the end” of COVID-19. This pandemic has had severe health, economic and psychological effects on the well-being of just about everyone on earth. 
    There are endless opinions about how the pandemic has been handled and what the altered future of humankind will be. That said, Orindans can agree we need to get out of our houses and enjoy a great 4th of July parade.  
    People have never been better connected. Most have a cell phone, essentially a wireless connected Internet device with more computing power than the Space Shuttle. Yet, according to Scientific American, before the pandemic, 47% of Americans frequently experienced loneliness and/or feelings of isolation. Unsurprisingly, that figure jumped to 61% during the pandemic.  
    The parade is a great opportunity to connect and broaden our perspective by looking toward something we can all agree upon. The American experiment, celebrated by Independence Day, is an ever-evolving proposition, but our foundational values, as they appear in the first three lines of the Declaration of Independence, continue to ring true. 
    The definition of liberty, equality and self-government, and how these values are exercised, will fuel debate among Americans forever. What doesn’t change, however, is that these values are the core of what hopefully promises a better future for all Americans.      
    Still wondering about whether you should participate in or attend Orinda’s 4th of July Parade?
    Let’s turn to science for an answer.
    A recent UK O2 study from Patrick Fagan, a degreed expert in behavioral science, discovered that attending 20 minutes of an outdoor communal event, for example, a music concert or parade, “can lead to a 21% increase in feelings of well-being.” That’s nearly three times the positive effect of dog walking. Now that is an open and shut case backed by hard science, folks! 
    The Parade Guy knows what’s good for you … okay, that may be untrue. You need to get out, reconnect with the Orinda community and do it in a way that is comfortable for you. 
    As we all get back on our feet, this year’s parade may result in a slightly smaller event than in past years, but it remains a must-attend event (for your own good). The spirit of Orinda is still here and The Parade Guy encourages you to enjoy “The Best Hometown Parade” this July 4th.

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