The Americans Who Knitted Their Own Safety Net

By Annie Lowery, The Atlantic

A year ago, Siren Saricca, a cocktail server at one of Detroit’s casinos, heard that some of her low-income, elderly neighbors were too afraid to go out to get groceries because of the pandemic. Although she was temporarily out of work because of the lockdown, Saricca took her food stamps, bought all the bulk groceries she could afford, and started dropping off bags.

At the same time, Kristin Guerin, an actor, was in Miami, suffering from a case of COVID-19 so severe that she was worried she might die alone in her apartment. When she recovered, she and a friend wanted to help alleviate the crisis, so they created a network of community fridges for the city, among other initiatives.

Thousands of miles away in Guam, a longtime organizer who goes by the mononym Machalek watched as a severe COVID-19 outbreak tore through the island territory. He and a group of friends got to work, distributing diapers and sanitary items.


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