In This Summer Of Our Discontent, What's Keeping You Up At Night?


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The delta variant. Record heat and wildfires. Afghanistan. The economy. The political canyons between family and friends. Lake Mead drying up.

There is a lot going on. A lot of worries.

State of Nevada asked, "What keeps you up at night? and heard back from our audience and a panel of wise observers. Here are some of the answers:

Therapist Sydney Smith, Rise Center For Recovery​​: “There's kind of a collective feeling that COVID has left behind for everybody. A lot of people felt the increase in anxiety or increase in depression, there's kind of this different feeling in the air since COVID. And I've heard a lot of my clients report the same thing.”

Her advice: Give yourself credit for “a lot of the changes that we're already acclimating to” and be “looking to adjust and be flexible as best we can.”

Caller Sean: "I'm a teacher at Clark County School District, and the most outspoken and loud people that are speaking up in meetings are all speaking about not wearing masks are speaking about being against the vaccine, where I believe most teachers want to do the right thing."

Longtime journalist John L Smith, who has chronicled the state of the Nevada Republican Party: "What used to be considered extreme, for instance, you know, a QAnon belief in conspiracies, has moved toward the mainstream and I think has far too much influence in the state party and the party nationally. It appeals to the base, to some of the base at least, but you've got other folks who are no longer interested in calling themselves Republicans. They're re-registering as nonpartisans."

Support comes from

Lobbyist Warren Hardy: The former Republican lawmaker also lamented the state of his party: “I haven't moved an inch from 1981 when I joined the republican party as a Reagan Republican, right. I haven't moved so far by standing in one place in my life. There's absolutely no way I could be elected in today's Republican primary system. If there's no place in our party for (people like) Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Mitt Romney, we can't achieve governable majorities. It just cannot be done that that is not an opinion. That is a simple fact.”

Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Organizing Director Erika Castro: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put out a report giving us red flags, saying that we have to act on climate change and act now or things are only going to get worse. And right after that there was a declaration from the U.S. government, basically saying that our water issues are very dire for us. Additionally to the climate crisis is also the intense fires that we're seeing up in Northern Nevada. I know that many of my colleagues are struggling with the smoke, with their proximity to the fires, and that's impacting their health, as well as their mental health as well."

Entertainment columnist John Katsilometes: “We tend to be acting like everything's OK out there on the scene and where I cover, entertainment. But the undercurrent is that we have to remain safe. And that is always in play, that's always in your mind. And I've run into people that are like saying, ‘Are we going to be OK doing this?’ ‘Are we OK to be at this show?’ And that's pretty consistent. And everywhere I go. So it's, it's an unusual and really unprecedented feeling out there right now?”

Nevada Current Editor Hugh Jackson: “From water, to economic inequities, to healthcare to the culture, climate, and politics and all of that — there are a lot of folks trying to do things to address and confront these problems head on, but there's also a lot of folks who are really just refusing to engage the actual subjects, the actual problems that the nation and the world face. Instead, they much prefer to twist off on kind of these culture war types of things.”

In his latest column, Jackson writes that the senatorial campaign of former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt is “all nationally trending memes all the time” instead of any focus on Nevada issues.

Caller Tiaré, whose daughter organized a young people’s march against racism: “The story was shared on Facebook, and so a lot of parents on the other side who don't believe that racism is a thing or a lot of people that don't believe COVID is a thing, ironically, said my daughter should be taken away from me, I should not have allowed her to do anything like that.”

She still remembers the event at Craig Ranch Regional Park as “a beautiful, beautiful thing. She met so many friends and I made friends there. It was just beautiful.”


Erika Castro, organizing director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; Warren Hardy, lobbyist, former state senator; Hugh Jackson, editor, Nevada Current; John Katsilometes, columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal​​; John L Smith, longtime journalist; Sydney Smith, therapist, Rise Center For Recovery​​ 

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