Pandemic-exhausted moms gather in an empty field and let out a collective primal scream

A group of around 20 moms gathered at a Boston area high school to vent their frustrations loudly.

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but there are certain groups of people who have faced particularly intense challenges these past two years. Healthcare workers? For sure. Teachers? Definitely. Parents? Um, yes.

Moms specifically? Yesssss.

It's hard to describe how hard navigating the pandemic with kids has been. Figuring out childcare when schools and daycare centers shut down, managing kids' remote or hybrid schooling, constantly making decisions about what's safe and what's not, dealing with the inconsistency and chaos of it all, weighing risks with who is vaccinated and who isn't—none of it has been easy. Many parents are also raising kids with mental, emotional, behavioral or physical challenges that have only been made harder by pandemic life.


COVID-19 has forced us to give up and/or alter the systems we rely on to keep our lives running smoothly, and because moms tend to take on the lion's share of child-rearing and logistical household management, we've felt those changes intensely. And at this point, heading into the third year of pandemic uncertainty, we're exhausted. Wiped out. So done.

That's why when editor Lucy Huber shared that her online moms group had invited everyone to an empty field to scream, it resonated with so many:

Some days we just want to scream because it feels like we can't do anything else. We need to vent somewhere, let out some of this tension and frustration and exhaustion we're carrying around, and we don't want to take it out on our families. The idea of getting together with other moms who get that feeling is incredibly appealing.

The group Huber mentioned actually did this, gathering at a high school in the Boston area on the evening of January 13. Around 20 moms showed up and participated in a group scream session led by licensed therapist Sarah Harmon, according to GMA.

Looks cathartic, doesn't it?

The idea of a primal scream isn't exactly new. In fact, The New York Times set up a "primal scream" hotline for parents to call and scream or cry or vent about anything they feel like getting off their chest. The hotline number is 212-556-3800, and you can let it all out for a full minute.

"Any of our readers or anyone who is not a reader can call to scream, laugh, cry," said the Times' editor at large Jessica Bennett, according to WCBS Newsradio. "We've been hearing for months now about how women have been disproportionately affected in the pandemic and we've been hearing about parents who are struggling to manage work and child care."

Anyone can utilize the primal scream hotline, but most of those who have called in have been women. Shocker.

Ironically, Huber herself wasn't able to attend the in-person scream session because she had to put her toddler to bed. That's how it is, and part of why the scream space is needed in the first place. Even under normal circumstances, mothers need an occasional space to vent. In pandemic times? Absolutely vital.

Really, anyone could probably benefit from finding a place to scream right now, whether it's to the air in the middle of an empty field, into a pillow in a closet or to a random someone on the end of a newspaper's hotline. Times are hard, folks. Let it out, let it out, let it out.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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