Joey Chenoweth mug

It seemed just like any night, sitting in my car and waiting for my turn in line. It could have been a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant based on the whole vibe. But finally I drove under the pop-up tent at the State Farm Arena, I told the nurse to use my right arm so my left could still write the next day, and the needle went in. Much has been (unfortunately) made about what might or might not be in the COVID-19 vaccine, but my second dose must have included something that let loose my emotions.

All of a sudden, I was feeling everything that happened over the previous year and every change all at once — every loss, every sacrifice, every struggle. I remembered all the people who died or were hit hard by the virus, I remembered the grandparents who weren’t able to see their loved ones, I remembered the countless weekends stuck at home even when I’d rather be anywhere else. But I also remembered why we were taking all those precautions in the first place: to keep ourselves and those closest to us safe during a pandemic. And I realized then, even though I had to keep it up for two more weeks, that I had. I guess that is worth getting emotional.

As I write this in mid-June, realizing there’s a whole month until the magazine comes out and everything could change by then, I don’t want to imply that the pandemic is over. To this day, there are still people getting sick and dying from the disease all around the world, and it is still unclear what effect the different variants will have. I hope for the best for all of you and your families. But with everybody who wants a vaccine now being vaccinated (and I encourage the rest of you to get one), the numbers have dropped sharply, and life in Maricopa is starting to look like normal again.

This issue of Copacetic Magazine welcomes these developments, as we all want to resume our lives again. In these pages you’ll read about how the pandemic has affected the lives of different Maricopans, and how they have persevered and plan to move forward in a post-COVID world, whenever that might come. But we are also highlighting some people who have found the bright side of the past year-plus, like finding a mode of education of working that suits their lives the best. Some local businesses even managed to thrive, in a testament to the strength that can be found in this community.

We hope you enjoy reading your neighbors’ stories as much as we enjoyed presenting them. If you want to let us know how we are doing with this magazine, as many of you aren’t shy to do, you can always reach me at jchenoweth@pinalcentral.com. Also please send over any photos, story idea or whatever else you’d like to see in future issues. Continue to stay safe, and we’ll (finally) see you around town.

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