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March 24th Update!

Page 486 is up! (And the next 2 pages are up early for patrons!)

♥ Many thanks and virtual hugs to Caitlynn and L.S. for adding their support this week! ♥

(As always, if you've pledged or donated, be sure to check your email or Patreon messages for a thank-you note!)

Every dollar is a great help. Thank you for making it possible for me to keep buying food and making comics for everyone during this stressful time.


For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, please take a few minutes to read last week's news post. The world may seem scary right now, but you CAN help.

Stay safe, stay home, and stay hopeful! We can get through this. ♥

Featured Friend:

Adhemlenei: Fantasy Artwork

The blog and art gallery of one of True Magic's long-time readers, Zela (a.k.a. Illinia). There's a ton of art and writing to browse, as well as two(!) ongoing fantasy webcomics. Good fun. Go see!


You Can Help

Sorry guys, comic updates are paused for this week. I just haven't been able to work fast enough.

My gears have been grinding for a while in any case, and the current world issues have thrown an extra wrench into the mix. My family and I are healthy (thank goodness), so I'm definitely not complaining -- but due to recent shortages, even the task of buying my usual weekly groceries has become so difficult that it has literally taken several days out of my work week.

My finances and my schedule are both extremely tight already (as most of you probably know by now), so I'm doing everything possible to get back on track.


I came across this article yesterday, which was written primarily for "marketers and influencers," but which truly applies to every human being on the internet.

If you have a webcomic with one reader, you are an influencer.

If you have a YouTube channel with one subscriber, you are influencer.

If you have one friend on Facebook, or one follower on Twitter, or one contact on your phone, or one person sitting in the room with you right now...

YOU are an influencer, and you CAN make a difference.

I normally wouldn't touch most "current events" topics with a 10-foot pole, but as that article pointed out: Raising awareness NOW will literally save lives.

Here's an abridged version of the article (full text here), originally written by Steve Pavlina:

COVID-19: What You Can Do

This is not remotely a “business as usual” situation. Please open your eyes to what’s happening. But more importantly, please open your heart to what’s about to happen.

We have the leverage to greatly reduce a tremendous amount of suffering and loss of life that’s about to unfold.

That this will happen is unfortunately inevitable, but we can absolutely have a meaningful impact in reducing it.

The seriousness of our collective situation is going to intensify in the coming weeks – way more dramatically than it already has.

By the end of the month, many more hospitals across Europe and the USA will be where Northern Italy is – overwhelmed and with doctors and nurses dying from the disease too. It’s a race against time, and we have much less time than most people realize. Seattle is already showing us a glimpse of what will soon hit many other cities.

The best thing you can do now is share the critical importance of social distancing to reduce the spread of the disease, which has a long, silent incubation period.

If you do that, you can save a lot of lives.

Don’t worry about perfection. Speed of messaging is way more important than elegance right now. Just get the word out as fast as you can. Even if all you do is tell people to stay home, that will help. Just start with one Tweet. Please.

Don’t worry about being judged or criticized for being an alarmist. By the end of the month, it will be obvious that you did the right thing. You’ll probably wish you’d acted sooner and more powerfully. I already feel that way now.

For Marketers: Please put normal business on hold.

Please use your influencing skills to save lives right now. Every day counts. It doesn’t matter how big your reach is.

Even if you’re just starting a new YouTube channel and only have a few viewers, please get the word out. That’s just as honorable a deed as for those who may reach millions.

At this time it’s just not okay to be blogging and emailing and tweeting and advertising as if we’re still in business as usual, because you’re encouraging others to engage in denial about what’s happening.

We need to do the opposite of that. We must do our best to turn the ship of ignorance and denial towards saving lives and reducing suffering.

If you promote stuff that comforts people, that’s great – but our priorities right now should be to get people to stop silently spreading the disease and to push towards full lockdown to the extent that we can influence that too.

For Everyone:

If you see anyone doing “business as usual” posts, videos, promotions, launches, and ads that don’t seem to be helping with the current situation, please actively encourage – no, implore – them to stop immediately and shift gears to save lives and reduce suffering.

Immediately reply to their emails as soon as you receive them. Comment on their posts, videos, and ads right away. Tell them to please focus on saving lives instead of trying to do anything less important right now. Be gentle but please be firm too. And be brave.

Please don’t shame anyone. Please invite them to step up to serve a greater need.

Realize that if you can influence EVEN ONE more marketer or influencer to help spread the word about practicing social distancing JUST ONE DAY EARLIER than they otherwise would, you’re saving lives too.

You do that, and you’re my hero.

Here are some further resources to help, both for your own education and for further re-sharing:

  • Coronavirus Stats – This page shows frequently updated virus stats for all countries, so you can see at a glance what’s happening. Also follow some of the links for deeper stats and data.
  • Stay the F*** Home – This is a good page for referring people. It shows simple actions to be taken immediately, with multiple translations for different languages.
  • Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now – Tomas Pueyo’s powerfully persuasive piece with lots of math-based reasoning, charts, and graphs (more than 28M views in the past week). I’ve been sharing this one a lot and feel grateful for Tomas’ efforts.
    • Two Key Points:
    • The current scientific consensus is that this virus can be spread within 2 meters (6 feet) if somebody coughs.
    • The worst infection then becomes through surfaces: The virus survives for up to 9 days on different surfaces such as metal, ceramics and plastics. That means things like doorknobs, tables, or elevator buttons can be terrible infection vectors.

      The only way to truly reduce that is with social distancing: Keeping people home as much as possible, for as long as possible until this recedes.
  • Jason Warner’s Facebook Post – A solid math-based post to help persuade people of the importance of changing behaviors immediately. Please reshare this on Facebook, as 119K other people have so far.
  • Messages from Italy – This is a short YouTube video of Italians under lockdown sharing what they wished they’d known 10 days earlier.

Note that this blog post is uncopyrighted and donated to the public domain. So you’re free to republish, translate, or modify it... no need to ask. Just get the word out that we need to change our behaviors immediately to save lives and reduce suffering.

Please care.

Maybe people have already heard this message. But if they aren't acting on it, then they need to hear it again.

Maybe they need to hear it just one more time before they finally change their routines.

Maybe hearing it from you in particular will tip the balance and change their minds. You never know!

"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another."
~ Helen Keller

Lastly, if (like me) you need a mood lift after even just thinking about this subject for five minutes, here's this:

10 Encouraging Updates on COVID-19 from Around the World

That's not meant to justify complacency, but to encourage you and remind you that making an effort actually helps. Spread the word!

The more people you influence to practice smart social distancing,
the safer you and your loved ones will be.

Stay safe, stay well, and STAY THE HECK HOME. ♥

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