Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

As I write this—in the afternoon on Tuesday, Oct. 10—wildfires are blazing through Northern California. Some of us here at the RN&R office are monitoring the news closely, hoping to hear safe-and-sound messages from friends who live over there. It’s a terrible thing. And every time I refresh my Google news feed, it seems like the damage gets worse. Condolences to the families of the people who have died in the fires.

And condolences also to those folks who have lost homes or businesses or other personal possessions in those fires. That can be devastating. Personal safety has to come first, but it’s difficult to even imagine the loss of a home and all that it might contain.

Reading about these fires—worrying from afar about friends, family, acquaintances and strangers—fills me with anxiety. And also—much to my frustration—a sense of deja vu. That feeling of anxious, empathetic concern has been a nearly constant companion the last few months. Hurricanes, gun violence, earthquakes, wildfires.

The headlines keep using the word “apocalyptic.”

Help where you can. Donate money or blood. Volunteer. Fight the good fight.

And make time for your family. Make time for your friends. Eat. Drink. Exchange books. Listen to music. There’s always more to discover. Learn to hike. Learn to bike. Don’t be afraid to use the word “love.”

For some reason, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Smiths recently, and there’s a lyric I keep thinking about: “It’s so easy to laugh/It’s so easy to hate/It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”