Happy birthday, my darling daughter.
As I write this letter today, April 30, 2030, I feel like you were born just yesterday, and here you are, entering your teens. I must confess that I’m nervous about what this new stage of life will bring but I am also filled with hope about the world that you will step into – a world reset in 2020 after COVID-19. Let me take you back to that difficult year. You were 2 and a half years old, too young to know what was happening. All we asked you to do was wash your hands frequently, not touch your face, and the toughest part – stay indoors. We read, played, watched cartoons, but you soon started craving school; you always wanted to sleep in my arms, holding me.
Being with you was the only thing that gave me solace about our lives beyond the crisis until you stumped me with an innocent question. Daughter: how do people who don’t have water wash their hands so many times?” I knew sanitizers were not the answer as people without basic access to water certainly couldn’t afford them.
The virus travelled without restraint across the planet, affecting millions. It showed us that not everyone had the same access to treatment and protection, that the world we’d built was not a fair one. But it also laid out the initial sparks of real change, teaching us how interconnected we all are and how fragile the balance between humanity and nature is. As I look back on the past decade since that awful pandemic wreaked havoc, I want you to know why I am so hopeful for the world you have before you.
In these formative years, you will make some important choices, and no matter what choice you make, I hope you make it your life’s work to apply your brilliant mind and tender heart towards solving some of our world’s toughest challenges.
Once again, happy birthday, my darling daughter.