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What’s so moving about this story—a Chick-fil-A worker volunteering to reroute a vaccination clinic’s long lines, shortening them by hours—isn’t just the collaboration. It’s not just the ingenuity. It’s what the volunteer reveals about how “good news” is calibrated in 2021. It shouldn’t have come to this. No drive-thru worker should have to spring into action to rescue a preventably slow, mismanaged medical distribution at the national level. Yet here we are.

“The computer system handling registrations went down, causing hundreds of people to wait in heavy traffic. That’s when Jerry Walkowiak, the manager of a nearby Chick-fil-A, stepped in to save the day,” reported Alaa Elassar of CNN. A Recharge salute to the South Carolina worker. But this story asks us to take cheer in the surprise that vaccination lines were not excessively long. As if the rollout’s missteps are so normalized and business as usual that delays are the metric against which good is measured. And so it is.

Yes, we can celebrate this story and still have enough bitter aftertaste to keep criticizing the rollout and Chick-fil-A at the same time. Are the sandwiches even good? They’re fine. Don’t get me started on the chain’s long-documented executive opposition to human rights. Recall the story of its founding family’s record against marriage equality?

Back to our cheery Recharge selves tomorrow. If you haven’t yet, drop a line to my colleague Inae Oh at recharge@motherjones.com and tell her what’s been keeping you afloat. “I’ll basically try anything to keep the cynicism at bay,” she wrote in last week’s callout. Your emails, readers, are giving us strength.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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