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If it's any consolation, there are some concrete someone-else-trying numbers in:
1. the number of masks made and donated
2. non-pro community artwork (teddy bears in windows! rainbows in windows!) (I don't think this is a "thing" outside of big cities, but it is a thing in some places!) (I'm half a continent away from my parents, but people have been putting encouraging art-rocks in my parents' planter boxes; about one per week; with the first one, they emailed me saying "I assume you know something about this" - since sometimes I do get friends of mine who are local to them to do things that one has to be local to do - but I was really just plain glowing that nope, I have *nothing* to do with it, no one who has any obligation has anything to do with it; that is just community love)
3. professional works of art being presented to the bored and restless via the internet - wonderful people giving daily art lessons or sing-a-longs or story-times to kids - institutions figuring out how to safely do things and send all that out to the "masses"
4. universities and research institutions doubling down on trying to solve both the virus stuff (vaccines, treatments) and the related stuff (getting ventilators and PPE to where it needs to be; figuring out suggested best-practices based on scientific research).
5. people who have volunteered to do grocery pickup or TP hunts or prescription drop-offs or whatever for people who should stay at home due to age or immune things; neighbors who text to say they're going to the grocery store, do you want any fresh produce or milk; people who send letters or cards or children's art to random individuals in nursing homes to tell them someone cares out here.
6. and then all the medical professionals, etc, who have been working and working and working.

And then there's all those out there who have had screaming children or whiny people in their houses and who have *yet somehow avoided* slipping arsenic into the supper casserole. There are big and small victories. Kind of a lot of them. And I'm really, really glad I made this list because I was also feeling like the people who don't care were "winning" and... maybe they aren't.

Thank you for writing. And thank you for keeping on trying. (and thank you for that 94 pages, whether or not it ever sees the light of day.)


I wish I had words of comfort. I do have words of respect. It’s hard, and you are doing great. I can share a post with you that I enjoyed, and hope you like it too. https://cupofjo.com/2020/05/ways-to-help-during-quarantine/


When so little is asked (stay home if you can, if not wear a mask, stay six feet away) it's hard for me to understand why people who can wouldn't do that tiny little bit. To some extent the aggressively non-compliant are being magnified (and thus having their influence expanded) by the media -- 80 percent of people support the current measures in our state -- but the casual non-compliance is surely more significant.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution who rarely sleeps and loves coffee and happens to have six outstanding awesome, incredibly loud and opinionated kids who are always right no matter what. Her passions include Zumba, hiking, photography, homeless ministry, reading, cooking, and spending time at the beach as often as possible. She's a college student studying to be a social worker who works as a Barista. State of mind? Tired, y'all.