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The three-headed hydra of apathy, envy and fear has news for you.

We fix the pandemic and disruption one county at a time. (If we challenge the hydra.)

Our world is one where our phones, tablets, laptops and desktops all scream for attention, asking us to save humans around the world. One “like” is all any site wants (along with a donation). There’s another way. Allow me to explain.

Our hope for surviving this pandemic, economic disruption and “societal reset” rests on getting change agents within one tiny geographic area on the planet — just one county, your county — to focus on raising everyone up.

You may live in a nice place near a city center with food and wine delivered, but if you look at the data focused on your county’s residents, a third of your families may lack access to timely medical care, food and other survival services. And if your entire county is a shining light of abundance, the next one over most likely is not.

Why focus on ensuring all county residents have access to survival services, you may ask. Why not just focus on a city, or work in only one community at a time? Across these fragmented states of America, many counties are either rural and/or with vastly under-resourced urban areas, with punishing disparities and all the problems that come with lack of resources. And that was in “normal” times. Mix in a pandemic, add economic free fall with a splash of uncertainty, and we have a recipe for disaster.

A city within a county might be doing well (in response to our chaotic change) and have a larger economic base from which to fund solutions. City–county partnerships should be the goal as you get off Netflix and start connecting with your local services for survival. Just ask, “What can I do to help?” Better yet, ask your local elected leaders in bold emails, “How do we ensure every family and community member has food, safe shelter and timely access to medical care?”

As you most likely think, fixing decades of health disparities and all the problems related to access to services may sound, to be candid, impossible. You may find that it will take, in each county, only a majority of your city council, county commissions and school boards. That’s fewer than 100 people who control the priorities and budgets of key services for surviving and thriving.

If combined, networked and mobilized with a shared vision — the power of all the cities within a county’s borders can raise up every community. Everyone. Everywhere. I like to think that this vision is quite pragmatic. If we get all 3000+ counties working in the US, we reinvent this troubled nation and make vital services available to all. We have so much to gain by sharing a vision and collaborating to create a society where 100% can thrive. The alternative is something so dark I don’t wish to consider it.

The future is what we make it. Join the evolution.

Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human or hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Any questions? The mission awaits: www.tenvitalservices.org

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