THISTOOSHALLPASS. Yes, Mr. Trudeau, I suppose so.
A puzzle for our time. So like a KIDNEYSTONE have been the current presidential term, the pandemic, and the primitive, profane, and profligate performance of a poison plague at the Capitol. ITSALOT, but persist we must, remembering that in the long arc of devouring time, one year, even four years, is but a BRIEFMOMENT.
Still, when the scale is shortened to three score years and ten, four or five years become more significant. And my own time with you being limited by convention to but a few paragraphs, you'd probably rather I stuck to the script, offering TART commentary on this or that puzzle SPEC, rather than hear me say ITOLDYOU after having HARPEDON things we'd all prefer to forget. "Just DONT!" I hear you sigh.
So I shall WALK the walk. See me SETTLING into my role as I PECK my OWN TOP entries ERE you go your WAY. STARRY nights, CRINKLES in a linen shirt, CAROLINA in my mind ... these things CALM the mood. Even PARD helps by reminding us of poetry ("Away! away! for I will fly to thee, / Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, / But on the viewless wings of Poesy"). Keats was probably using "pards" as an abbreviation of "leopards," but I'll take what I can get.
Sure, "Fungus-filled, maybe" (MILDEWY) isn't my ideal way of starting a puzzle, but overall, I think there was more PLUS than minus. And it's hard to argue with such an apt puzzle.